Application and Viability Evaluation of RFID Battery Free Sensing Technology for Digital Agriculture

Battery free sensors are the next generation of RFID (Radio-frequency Identification) tags, energised by harvesting the emitting wave energy from the RF (Radio Frequency) field of an RFID reader. These RFID tags are capable of not only providing unique identification, but also energizing an attached sensor and measuring a physical or chemical property. RFID battery free sensors cover a wide their applications from on-farm to off-farm practices, research to commercial use. As an example, for a battery free soil moisture sensor, an RFID reader utilises the electromagnetic fields to automatically identify and track the RFID tag and measure the attached soil moisture sensor. These sensors can be deployed across farms for management of irrigation systems. This paper will review the application and viability of RFID battery free sensing technology and its application in digital agriculture for both research and commercial uses through case studies.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR(S)
Mos Sharifi: Research Engineer at AgResearch Ltd, with BSc in Electrical Eng, MSc in Mechatronics Eng, and PhD in Robotics, involved in digital agriculture projects, skilled in electronics and embedded systems, sensing and instrumentation, automation and robotics, computer vision and Artificial Intelligence.

Hong Zhang: Senior Research Engineer at AgResearch Ltd, expert in sensing, instrumentation and control systems, actively involved in digital agriculture projects for nearly two decades.

Steve Gebbie: Engineering Development Team manager at AgResearch Ltd with over 30 years of R&D experience in primary industry sector with successful output of many research and commercial projects/products.

Seth Laurenson: Seth Laurenson has been with AgResearch since 2011 and is currently the Science Impact Leader for Soil and Water Research. Seth’s PhD was in Soil Science as it relates to irrigation induced salinity and was awarded from the University of South Australia. Seth’s expertise is soil physics and soil-water dynamics of which he has 12 years’ professional experience. Seth currently leads a number of research projects in the areas of irrigation, nutrient and contaminant management and farm system design.