Event date:
Jan 25 2022 12:00 pm

Development of Inkjet-Printed Low-Cost Temperature Sensor for Application in Precision Agriculture

Dr. Nauman Zafar Butt
Subhan Zakir
Zoom Meetings (Online)
MS Thesis defense


With the projected climate change, humanity faces a new challenge in terms of food, energy, and water scarcity. The increasing population has put enormous stress on our existing agriculture and power sectors. As the traditional practices will not suffice in the face of these new provocations, researchers across the world are exploring innovative ideas that can better ensure food and energy security for the coming generations. One such innovation is to combine the agriculture and solar energy systems on the same land to make what is called an agrivoltaic system. The colocation of food and energy not only preserves the farmland and biodiversity when large-scale solar power parks are installed but also synergizes the food-energy-water nexus with a better resilience against climate change. To get the full benefit of this holistic approach, crops have to be managed intelligently with modern precision agriculture techniques. This thesis explores the development and integration of a novel low-cost flexible leaf temperature sensor for agrivoltaic systems. We explore the optimal placement of the network of these sensors in the farm by implementing an algorithm to map the radiation of the Sun inside the agrivoltaic field. The major difference between a conventional and an agrivoltaic farm is the partial obstruction of sunlight by the panels for the latter. By physically mapping the shades on the crops, we locate the positions which undergo the transitions from a high to low radiation across the day and use this to optimally configure the spatial placement of the sensors. To develop a low-cost temperature sensor, we use an all inkjet-printed method based on Polyaminobenzene Sulfonic Acid functionalized Single-Walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNT-PABS) as the wearable temperature sensor on a flexible Polyethylene terephthalate (PET) substrate. The proposed sensor shows good stability at a given temperature demonstrating the setting time of fewer than 540 seconds and excellent sensitivity of around 2.25%/⁰C. The temperature-dependent resistance curve for the sensor shows an almost linear relationship over the temperature range of 25 ⁰C to 55 ⁰C. A comparison with the commercial thermistors shows that the proposed sensor is state-of-art and can be used as a wearable temperature sensor for the plant instead of a high-cost commercial sensor. This work also demonstrates the step-by-step process of setting data logger CR310 for the data acquisition from the sensors in the field.

Proposal Defense Committee

  • Dr. Nauman Zafar Butt (Supervisor)
  • Dr. Wala Salem Mustafa Saadeh
  • Dr. Ijaz Haider Naqvi

Zoom Meeting Link: https://asu.zoom.us/j/9036614481

Meeting ID: 903 661 4481 

Passcode: 951357