PROJECT FINANCED BY THE SCIENTIFIC AND TECHNOLOGICAL DEVELOPMENT FUND (FONDEF IN SPANISH)

MOBILE APPLICATION WILL HELP IMPROVE WATER USE

THE INVENTION HELPS TO GENERATE A MAP OF THE IRRIGATION NEEDS OF A CROP FROM TEMPERATURE MEASUREMENT AND LOCATION OF SPOTS WITH WATER DEFICIT.



December 20th, 2013

In a prototype ready to run the later stages of manufacturing and marketing will end the new project of the Scientific and Technological Development Fund (Fondef in Spanish) awarded to our University.

It is the "Development of a mobile system for the generation of thermal maps that allow optimal irrigation management" initiative, in which a multidisciplinary team of researchers from the Department of Agricultural Sciences, and the Schools of Mechatronics and Bioinformatics Engineering, as well as professionals and technicians with private sector support, work.

The project was approved by the Fondef through its IDeA program, whose objective is to financially support the implementation of scientific and technological research initiatives with a potential for economic or social impact.

The research will be done in 24 months and the assigned amount reaches 183 million pesos.

The Director responsible for the project is Professor Carlos Poblete, from the Research and Transfer Center on irrigation and Agroclimatology (CITRA in Spanish), under the Department of Agricultural Sciences.

According to Professor Poblete, the device will be fitted to an ATV or tractor, which in its way along the land can record temperature and geographical position. "In order to detect where the points that have water problems are located and, therefore, the plants subjected to stress for this reason", he explained.

He added that these types of measurements have already been made at Citra, but now it's the moment to develop the application, creating a lower cost system to facilitate the adoption of these technologies by farmers. "Now we will take one step beyond research, because the project will end with a running prototype", he said.

Poblete said that the results of the system could be visualized on a tablet, computer or mobile phone, and added that WiseConn,a  company that participates in the project, is interested in commercializing the prototype.

Currently, the previous administrative phase is being conducted, to then start in March the work proper. Together with Carlos Poblete, researchers José Reyes, Felipe Besoaín and Alejandro Valdés, from the School of Bioinformatics Engineering; Javier Muñoz and Carlos Baier, from the School of Mechatronics; Claudio Balbontín, from INIA; and engineers Roemil Jorquera and Mauricio Zúñiga and technician Leopoldo Fonseca, from CITRA, will participate.

The Director responsible for this project highlighted that the U. of La Rioja, in Spain and the Melbourne U., Australia, are also part of the project. Also included are Sebastián Juillerat Servicios Agrícolas E.I.R.L – a company formed by graduates of the Department of Agricultural Sciences - and Invest Maule S.A.

 




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