Flexible PI-Based Plant Drought Stress Sensor for Real-Time Monitoring System in Smart Farm
Authors: Healin Im, Sungho Lee, Muhammad Naqi, Chanhui Lee and Sunkook Kim
Journal: Electronics 2018, 7(7), 114
Plant growth and development are negatively affected by a wide range of external stresses, including water deficits. Especially, plants generally reduce the stomatal aperture to decrease transpiration levels upon drought stress. Advanced technologies, such as wireless communications, the Internet of things (IoT), and smart sensors have been applied to practical smart farming and indoor planting systems to monitor plants’ signals effectively. In this study, we develop a flexible polyimide (PI)-based sensor for real-time monitoring of water conditions in tobacco plants. The stoma response, by which a plant adjusts to drought stress to maintain homeostasis, can be confirmed through the examination of evaporated water. Using a flexible PI-based sensor, a plant’s response variation is translated into an electrical signal. The sensors are integrated with a Bluetooth (BLE) module and a processing module and show potential as smart real-time water sensors in smart farms.
Photo: (a) Real image of the flexible PI-based plant drought sensor attached on the lower surface of leaves; (b) Nicotiana tabacum responses to drought stress over time. Inset: schematic 3D images of stoma responses under: normal conditions (a blue arrow) and drought conditions (a red arrow); (c) real image of a Bluetooth (BLE) and real-time monitoring system integrated with a PI-based plant drought stress sensor; (d) schematic of a read-out interface circuit and (e) the measured output voltage according to humidity; (f) a mobile application for plant drought monitoring. (credits: Healin Im, Sungho Lee, Muhammad Naqi, Chanhui Lee and Sunkook Kim)
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