Water-Insight offers a Radio Frequency (RF) survey service, which assesses the feasibility and practicality of IMS systems on a particular farm or location. The RF survey identifies radio communication paths, requirements for repeaters, internet connection options and mounting recommendations. Its intent is to ensure that there are “no surprises” during commissioning. RF Surveys should be completed before finalising the design and scope of the project.
Water-Insight recently performed a RF survey for an irrigation company in order to establish if three adjoining farms could use a single IMS gateway to control all three fixed grid systems.
The initial research includes an elevation profile assessment in Google Earth – this suggested the site would be a challenge, but the real extent of the situation only became clear when our engineer was on site. Having completed the RF survey, it was concluded that the intended system design was not possible. Establishing this conclusion in the early stages of the project was crucial as we were able to make positive recommendations and suggestions for the future plans.
A spectrum analysis is also performed during a RF survey. This involves looking at what frequencies are in use on and around the farm. It is surprising how far some signals travel from other farms. We analyse the results and avoid the strongest signals by adjusting the “channel” used in the IMS communication mesh network.
Once the survey is completed, a detailed report is provided with the findings, recommendations and identified variations. Water-Insight highly recommends an RF survey to be completed for the majority of system designs as even in simple systems careful consideration needs to be made for antenna mounting height, internet availability etc.
Please get in touch now to discuss how this service can assist you for current and future fixed grid control projects.