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Soil Analysis Sensor

Recording, monitoring and analysis of soil moisture, electrical conductivity and environmental temperature in soils

Accurate sensor element for the fully automatic measuring of soil moisture (VWC in percent [%] or dielectric permittivity), electrical conductivity (uS/cm or cS/m) and environmental temperature (°C or °F) in soils or other granular substances!

Soil moisture, conductivity and temperature in soilThe Soil Analysis Sensor (including a soil moisture sensor) is one of the most modern sensor elements / probes for the accurate monitoring, recording and analysis of moisture, electrical conductivity and surrounding temperature in soils and other granular media.

This Universal Sensor (extension element) for our flexible data loggers (e.g. Thermofox Universal, Universal HUB, Materialfox,...) was developed especially for the analysis of granular substances like mineral soils. The probe is equipped with three highly-sophisticated sensor elements all operating simultaneously.

The moisture content of the soil (VWC = Volumetric Water Content in %) is determined by measuring the dielectric permittivity / dielectric constant ε = 1 (air) to ε = 80 (water) with a soil moisture sensor. This physical property of the soil varies greatly depending on the water content and is recognised worldwide as the standard for measuring the moisture in the soil and in other materials. The dielectric permittivity is measured using capacitive frequency domain technology at a frequency of 80 MHz.

Construction of the soil analysis sensor

This high frequency was specifically selected in order to reduce influences by the salt content and the structure of the medium to be examined. This also makes the sensor very accurate and suitable for different types of soil. In mineral soil types, the conversion of the permittivity into volumetric water content (VWC in %) takes place fully automatic directly in the sensor by means of the widely used and validated "Topp equation". Custom-made calibrations can of course also be carried out on request. For this purpose, the soil moisture sensor provides access to all digital raw data, making it even more flexible.

Moisture, electrical conductivity and temperature in soilThe electrical conductivity of the soil (Electrical Conductivity = EC, measured in uS/cm or cs/m) is measured directly at the sensor using two high-quality and very robust V4A stainless steel electrodes. To achieve good results, a reliable and firm contact between the measuring substrate and the electrodes is important. The measurement range of the sensor is between 0 and 20,000 uS/cm (or 0 and 200 cS/m), thus enabling monitoring the influence of salts or fertiliser on the conductivity of the soil, for example. On request, the sensor also performs a fully automatic temperature compensation of the measured conductivity. The user can choose between the following three options: either a linear temperature compensation with adjustable compensation coefficient, a special temperature compensation matched to soil analysis based on the recommendations of the "US Salinity Handbook 60" or no temperature compensation.

As a third analysis element, the waterproof Soil Analysis Sensor includes a high-precision NTC temperature sensor to measure the exact temperature in the soil (measured in °C or °F). The measurement range of the sensor is between -30°C and +80°C with a resolution of 0.1°C. The sensor is already pre-calibrated. In addition to that, the user has flexible access to the internal adjustment offset.

The compact Soil Analysis Sensor can be easily installed at any time. The waterproof sensor element is simply pushed directly and firmly into the unaffected soil. This provides good contact between the sensor and the soil and maximises the accuracy of the system.

Soil Analysis Sensor inserted into the ground

In many cases, the Soil Analysis Sensor is combined with our convenient data logger Thermofox Universal. Its large, clear display, memory for up to 64,000 readings, an additional internal temperature sensor and two external temperature sensor inputs for NTC thermistors (measuring range: -30°C to +120°C, wired sensors or wireless sensors) as well as its Universal Sensor® bus for numerous extensions like the Soil Analysis Sensor make this data logger especially versatile.

Depending on the particular application, the Soil Analysis Sensor can either be connected directly, as stand-alone sensor, to one of our flexible data logger systems (e.g. Thermofox Universal):

A Soil Analysis Sensor directly connected to a Thermofox Universal

Or, as an alternative, the Universal HUB enables you to simultaneously process up to four Soil Analysis Sensors with one of our data logger systems (e.g. Thermofox Universal):

Four Soil Analysis Sensors connected to a Universal HUB

If you do not want to read out the Soil Analysis Sensor - System (incl. soil moisture sensor) and the associated data logger (e.g. Thermofox Universal) manually on site, you can also easily connect the measuring system with our mobile Remotefox - Remote Data Transmission System. This way, you regularly get all measurement data via mobile service, internet and email even if you are hundreds of kilometers away from the measurement site. As all our data loggers, the Remotefox also operates completely battery-powered and does not require any access to the power grid. This allows effortless stand-alone use, also for several months or even years!

Soil Analysis Sensor with the Remotefox Data Transmission System

This way, even very extensive and geographically dispersed long-term recordings can easily be performed.

The fields of application for the Soil Analysis Sensor in combination with our data logger systems are almost unlimited and range from irrigation planning and control, over the use in greenhouses, the prognosis of plant diseases, soil respiration, watershed characterization through to fertilization management, plant ecology and many more...

Alerting with the Universal AlarmIf you also need reliable alerting in addition to the analysis and recording of measurement data, this is also easily possible with the Soil Analysis Sensor. Just combine the measurement system with our flexible Universal Alarm. This optional alarm module can be individually configured and features a highly flexible and independent alarm output. There are alarm functions for e.g. exceeding or falling below a user-defined threshold, but also for the entry or exit of an alarm range. The freely programmable alarm delay completes the range of alarm functions. Alarm systems include our SMS-Alarm-System for the mobile sending of SMS alarm messages to one or more recipients, our SMS-Power-Pack or our Acoustic-Alarm.

The independent power supply to the Soil Analysis Sensor is provided by a high-quality, durable and replaceable standard 3.6V lithium battery, supplied as part of the power-/setup-module included in the delivery. The sensor can also be configured as desired using this module. Depending on the selected measuring rhythm, the battery life is up to 2 years.

The programming of the Soil Analysis Sensor - System and the used data logger (logger type depending on the application) as well as the data evaluation is done via the SoftFOX - Universal Analysis Software under Microsoft Windows® XP, 7 ,8 or 10. SoftFOX Analysis SoftwareNewer operating systems are naturally also supported. After the sensor or the corresponding data logger is connected to the computer via a PC interface cable, the system can be read out or configured immediately. The software offers numerous general functions like for example dynamic project management, graphic data analysis, guide lines, overlay function for curves originating from different data loggers, mathematical curve calculation, statistical curve analysis, export function, auto backup, flexible zoom and many more. Besides that the Soil Analysis Sensor as well as the used data logger system itself can be configured arbitrarily. Functions like setting the measuring rhythm, min./max. monitoring for extreme value recording without interruption for even slow measuring rhythms, configuration of the real time clock, reading out the measurement data, test of the memory fill level, digital serial number and many more are available here.

Features:

  • Simultaneous analysis of soil moisture, electrical conductivity and ground temperature
  • Capacitive measurement of the permittivity at 80 MHz (frequency domain technology = FDR)
  • Measuring volume for the local soil moisture determination: approx. 750 mL (approx. 0,75 l)
  • Measurement of the soil moisture insensitive against salt content and structure of the ground
  • Measurement of the electrical conductivity via high-quality stainless steel contacts (V4A)
  • Conductivity temperature compensation: None, linear or according to US Salinity Handbook 60
  • Soil Analysis Sensor can be configured freely via the universal SoftFOX - Analysis Software
  • Waterproofed, sealed and robust sensor element with 5m (optionally longer) connection cable
  • Can be used with various data loggers from our company (e.g. Thermofox Universal, HUB,...)
  • Additional sensors can be connected to the data logger in use (e.g. 2 x object temperature)
  • Extension of the measuring system with a flexible alarm function using the Universal Alarm
  • Many different ways of alerting available, e.g: SMS Alarm Aystem, Acoustic Alarm,... 
  • Readings are saved directly in the data memory of the connected data logger (accessories)
  • Collected readings remain in memory of the data logger even without batteries

  • Measurement readings for soil moisture: VWC [%] (Topp's equation), permittivity or raw data
  • Measurement readings for conductivity: EC [cS/m] with / without compensation or raw data
  • Measurement readings for temperature: Degrees Celsius [°C] or Degrees Fahrenheit [°F]

  • Measuring range for the soil moisture (permittivity): ε = 1 (air) to ε = 80 (water)
  • Measuring range for the soil moisture (Topp's equation): VWC = 0 % to VWC = 100 %
  • Measuring range for the electrical conductivity: EC = 0 to 20000 µS/cm or 0 to 200 cS/m
  • Measuring range for the temperature: T = -30 °C to +80 °C or -22 °F to +176 °F

  • Average resolution for the soil moisture (permittivity): Δε = 0,1 from ε = 1 to ε = 30
  • Average resolution for the soil moisture (permittivity): Δε = 0,7 from ε = 30 to ε = 80
  • Average resolution for the soil moisture (Topp): ΔVWC = 0,15% from VWC = 0 to 50%
  • Average resolution for the conductivity: ΔEC = 10 µS/cm from EC = 0 to 5000 µS/cm
  • Average resolution for the conductivity: ΔEC = 50 µS/cm from EC = 5000 to 10000 µS/cm
  • Average resolution for the temperature: ΔT = 0,1 °C from -30 °C to +80°C

  • Accuracy of the soil moisture (permittivity): ε = +/- 1 from ε = 1 to ε = 40 (typical for soils)
  • Accuracy of the soil moisture (permittivity): +/- 15% from ε = 40 to ε = 80
  • Accuracy of the soil moisture (Topp): VWC = +/- 3% (electrical conductivity < 10000 µS/cm)
  • Accuracy of the electrical conductivity: EC = +/- 10% from EC = 0 to 10000 µS/cm
  • Accuracy of the temperature: T = +/- 1 °C from -30 °C to +80°C
  • Specific calibration will increase the accuracy for arbitrary granular media/soils even more

  • Power supply via one commercially available 3,6V lithium battery (size: 1/2 AA - 1200mAh)
  • Battery life up to two years (see configuration). Batterie can be replaced at any time
  • Dimensions of the Soil Analysis Sensor (without cable): 36 x 114 x 16 mm (HxWxD)
  • Weight of the Soil Analysis Sensor without or with the connection cable: 50g or 130g
Depending on the memory equipment of the used data logger system (e.g. Thermofox Universal), the active sensors and the selected measuring rhythm, the maximum measuring time can be calculated.

Here some examples:

Memory capacity
Active sensors
Measuring rhythm
Measuring time
4,000 readings
Soil Moisture
Conductivity
Temperature
1 hour
56 days
4,000 readings
Soil Moisture
Conductivity
Temperature
2 hours
111 days
16,000 readings
Soil Moisture
Conductivity
Temperature
1 hour
222 days
16,000 readings
Soil Moisture
Conductivity
Temperature
2 hours
444 days
64,000 readings
2 x Soil Moisture
2 x Conductivity
2 x Temperature
30 minutes
222 days
64,000 readings
2 x Soil Moisture
2 x Conductivity
2 x Temperature
1 hour
444 days
64,000 readings
4 x Soil Moisture
4 x Conductivity
4 x Temperature
30 minutes
111 days
64,000 readings
4 x Soil Moisture
4 x Conductivity
4 x Temperature
1 hour
222 days

Product Price Each Quantity My Cart
Soil Analysis Sensor (5,0m)
Precise sensing element to measure the soil moisture, conductivity and temperature (cable: 5,0m)
EUR 231.09 (plus VAT)
EUR 275.00 (incl. GER-VAT)
piece
Thermofox Universal
incl. internal temperature sensor and data memory for 4000 readings
EUR 159.66 (plus VAT)
EUR 190.00 (incl. GER-VAT)
piece
Memory expansion 16000
Memory for 16000 readings
EUR 25.21 (plus VAT)
EUR 30.00 (incl. GER-VAT)
piece
Memory expansion 64000
Memory for 64000 readings
EUR 54.62 (plus VAT)
EUR 65.00 (incl. GER-VAT)
piece
External temperature sensor
Sensor length: 6,0m
EUR 25.21 (plus VAT)
EUR 30.00 (incl. GER-VAT)
piece
External temperature sensor
Sensor length: 15,0m
EUR 33.61 (plus VAT)
EUR 40.00 (incl. GER-VAT)
piece
Universal HUB (4 inputs)
for our Thermo-Hygro-Sensors or Soil Analysis Sensors
EUR 84.03 (plus VAT)
EUR 100.00 (incl. GER-VAT)
piece
Humidity protection coating
for data loggers used in increased humidity areas e.g. covered and protected outdoor area
EUR 21.01 (plus VAT)
EUR 25.00 (incl. GER-VAT)
piece
SoftFOX - Analysis software
for a detailed pc data analysis. Including USB interface cable. Languages: English and German
EUR 63.03 (plus VAT)
EUR 75.00 (incl. GER-VAT)
piece
Additional accessories for the system:
Product Price Each Quantity My Cart
Installation box (size 3)
Outside: 400 x 500 x 175 mm
Inside: 344 x 451 x 151 mm
incl. drying agent (set of 3 bags)
EUR 84.03 (plus VAT)
EUR 100.00 (incl. GER-VAT)
piece
Drying agent bags (set of 3 bags)
Bag dimensions: 74 x 94 x 10 mm
Dustproof. Desiccant: Bentonite
EUR 8.40 (plus VAT)
EUR 10.00 (incl. GER-VAT)
piece
Remotefox (remote data transfer)
Remote system for the mobile GPRS data transfer as well as alarm via email and SMS
EUR 668.07 (plus VAT)
EUR 795.00 (incl. GER-VAT)
piece
Universal Alarm
Simultaneous alarm monitoring of up to 15 universal sensors
EUR 58.82 (plus VAT)
EUR 70.00 (incl. GER-VAT)
piece
SMS-Alarm-System
Notification via SMS in any alarm situation
EUR 281.51 (plus VAT)
EUR 335.00 (incl. GER-VAT)
piece
SMS-Power-Pack
Battery power supply for the SMS-Alarm-System. Completely indepenent of the power grid
EUR 121.85 (plus VAT)
EUR 145.00 (incl. GER-VAT)
piece
Acoustic alarm system
Notification via acoustic signal in any alarm situation
EUR 54.62 (plus VAT)
EUR 65.00 (incl. GER-VAT)
piece
Data logger storage case (size 4)
Dimensions: 410 x 272 x 113 mm
EUR 46.22 (plus VAT)
EUR 55.00 (incl. GER-VAT)
piece
plus shipping and handling