In the midst of the worst drought in more than half a century, U.S. farmers are drawing on their best defenses — the center pivot and their experience dealing with some of the harshest conditions Mother Nature can deal. Now a UNL computer engineer is preparing to give them a new tool for their irrigation management arsenal — one that has the potential to decrease costs, conserve water, and improve yields.
Mehmet Can Vuran, assistant professor of computer science and engineering, has spent years developing wireless underground sensor networks to give agricultural producers real-time information about soil moisture and changing conditions that would allow them to more efficiently manage irrigation. He’s had the help of doctoral student Xin Dong, as well as a five-year, $418,760 grant from the National Science Foundation’s Faculty Early Career Development Program to further develop the technology. Read more about this grant in Today@UNL.