SCADA platform combined with a scale model of trickle irrigation system for agricultural engineering education



During the last three decades, Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) systems are being widely used in agricultural applications and specifically in irrigation management systems, where an intelligent use of the water is required. Taking this objective into account, an educational platform for the design of SCADA applications for irrigation programming combined with a scale model of a trickle irrigation system is described in this article. This platform facilitates the students of Agricultural Engineering to design and simulate different irrigation systems, providing an efficient and low cost tool. Moreover, as the SCADA applications are developed with the LabVIEW graphical programming language, complex mathematical models for irrigation, data sampling, and on-line programming by Internet are supported. The use of a data acquisition card for collecting data from transducers and for the activation of the actuators makes it possible to apply the implemented platform both to a real irrigation system and to the developed scale model, supplying the students with a more practical application of the learned concepts. © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Comput Appl Eng Educ 22:463–473, 2014; View this article online at; DOI 10.1002/cae.10.1002/cae.20571