Date of Award

12-1-2011

Degree Name

Master of Science

Department

Plant and Soil Science

First Advisor

Watson, Dennis

Abstract

Hay that has been baled with incorrect moisture content or that has been under the influence of moisture has potential to generate heat and create a fire hazard. Traditional means of monitoring baled hay temperature in storage, by inserting a pipe probe with thermometer, are time consuming. A ZigBee wireless sensor network could be used to remotely monitor internal hay bale temperatures. Tests were conducted to determine the maximum amount of hay through which a 2.4 GHz ZigBee module could transmit data and the resulting signal strength (RSSI). Based on analysis of the data, a ZigBee transmitter with 2 mW transmitting power can transmit data through 9 ft of baled hay and a ZigBee transmitter with 50 mW transmitting power can transmit data through 18 ft of baled hay. In general, RSSI decreased significantly with each additional 3 ft of baled hay.

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