Internet of Things (IOT) Soil Moisture Sensor

Case ID:



Soil moisture is that controls many biophysical processes important to personal and industrial applications. Maintenance of proper soil moisture levels is important as moisture levels can vary significantly over short distances and timespans. It is often necessary on a farm field or a garden to monitor soil moisture simultaneously at multiple locations, or to have individualized watering schedules. Soil moisture monitoring is also important in domestic, commercial, and home gardens and fields, farms and ranches, and in research. Current soil moisture sensor technologies vary in terms of accuracy and affordability. Our researchers have developed a low cost, and highly accurate soil moisture sensor with internet-of-things capabilities for wireless communication and connectivity.



Our researchers at the University of Nevada, Reno have developed a state-of-the-art capacitance-based soil moisture sensor with a single-chip microcontroller-RF transceiver module with Internet-of-Things (IOT) capabilities. Our sensors utilize Frequency Domain Reflectometry (FDR) technology, utilizing the dielectric constant of water relative to air and mineral dry soil. These sensors are capable of establishing a wireless communication between other sensors and with phone, tablet, and computer apps to autonomously maintain soil moisture by triggering irrigation systems and other devices. The sensors can be controlled remotely, and have beneficial uses in personal, industrial, and research applications. Improved control and knowledge of soil moisture content allows for individualized watering schedules across multiple locations, compensation for temperature changes and other environmental factors for high research-grade soil moisture measurement accuracy, better water use efficiency, etc. Our sensors can be used efficiently for large scale deployment for coverage of large areas (hundreds of feet). Other soil moisture sensors on the marked utilizes ad-hoc wireless sensors, which may become inefficient in terms of power and compactness. Other sensors are also not proven for research or farm-grade applications.



•       More accurate than resistance-based methods of soil moisture sensing

•       More affordable than radioactivity-based neutron probe techniques

•       Can be used to control various devices based on soil moisture status

•       Operable in scalable modern wireless sensor networks

•       Improves water use efficiency

•       Low power usage


Patent application pending




Patent Information:
For Information, Contact:
Shannon Sheehan
Manager, Technology Commercialization
University of Nevada, Reno
Sayjro Nouwakpo