Smart horticulture solution has sensor nodes, IoT gateway, cloud access and mobile applications

Arrow Electronics has introduced a smart horticulture solution. It is based on an evaluation kit said to contain all the hardware and software needed to evaluate and implement a complete indoor horticulture solution.

According to Markets and Markets, “the overall horticulture lighting market is expected to grow from US$2.43 billion (€2.24 billion) in 2018 to $6.21 billion (€5.73 billion) by 2023” *. Without the advancement of smart horticulture practices in greenhouses and vertical farming enterprises, the retail and domestic growers will not be able to maximise crop yields and shorten growing time by optimising environmental conditions. In addition, these industries will miss out on the energy and water-saving opportunities that enhance sustainability.

End users often struggle to combine sensors, actuators, wireless communications, LED lighting control and mobile applications to gather the right data, analyse it quickly, generate the appropriate response, and act upon it. Even those who are technologically proficient to implement a system, find that existing product offerings make it challenging to deploy a scalable, low-power, reliable system, cost effectively and securely. With the Arrow horticultural evaluation kit, these problems have been solved, allowing customers to get to market more quickly.

Through collaboration with Analog Devices, Silicon Labs, Osram, Amphenol and Arrow’s engineering capabilities, all sensing, power, signal conditioning, lighting control, and wireless communication challenges have been pre-solved, allowing for quicker time to market.

The horticultural solution includes a soil-monitor node using leading edge technologies from Analog Devices, which include power and analogue solutions to create a highly accurate measurement of the soil’s pH and moisture level to maximise crop yield. Also integrated is an Internet of Things (IoT) gateway based on a Qualcomm 96Boards platform and LED node featuring the ability to control the colour, UV spectrum and intensity of a custom light engine.

Custom control of the soil and LED nodes is accomplished through the IoT Gateway with the implementation of pre-certified ZigBee modules from Silicon Labs. iOS and Android based mobile applications are available for configuration and control of the Soil and LED nodes as well. Lastly, the design files of a light engine containing Osram OSLON Square high-power LEDs can be provided for further customisation.

 “Arrow has taken advantage of its unique position, not only to bring together influential component and module suppliers but also to engineer hardware and software optimally to meet the needs of this expanding market,” says Aiden Mitchell, IoT global vice president at Arrow Electronics. “By reducing the risks of developing smart horticulture solutions, we are helping technology businesses develop new opportunities and contribute to supporting the world’s growing population sustainably.”

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