Mobile And Wireless Technologies In Agriculture Computer Science Essay

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This project is a mobile based farm accessing in anywhere and at anytime project for "Accessing Your Farm Anywhere and Anytime (M-Farm)". M-Farm is enabling the farmer to know the extreme problems in the farm by the farmers. The problems that the farmers need to face include bad weather, water supply and diseases. Crops are getting destroyed by the sudden change in temperatures or sudden arrival of rains. Therefore, farmers need to ensure that their crops are in good wealth condition in anywhere and at anytime. It will provide us with the methodology, concept and design of M-Farm accessing. This will be illustrated through the application of the M-Farm accessing using mobile devices. Since 3G mobile application technology is suitable for farm accessing, it is therefore implemented in the project. Actually, 3G networks allow high data rates for packet transmission. Besides, it allows a large transmission of data such as graphics and audios. From the processing system point of view, emphasis is laid on the whole network connection system. A whole network connection system exists due to the fact that it needs an intelligent processing system. In the agricultural monitoring, a numbers of wireless sensor are deployed in the farm to collect parameters that would affect the growth of the crops. The readings from the sensors would be collected and sent to a server over the Internet for data processing. The farmers are able to receive the final results in real time together with suitable message and recommendations based on the readings of sensors and information that are compiled by the server side. For a farmer, raw data are meaningless. So, 3G mobile application must have good graphic or animation presentation design. These graphical interfaces will make the farmers familiar with the system. The interfaces that will be implemented are using JTWI MIDP 2.0 (Sun Microsystems, Inc.2007). Since the mobile devices have limited screen size during the user display, several considerations need to be taken during the development of mobile applications. These mobile applications (M-Farm) mainly designed for the farmers. During the GUI interface design, several requirements need to be taken into consideration:

Numerical data presentation has to be minimised

Graphical presentation of the agriculture field

Status of the agriculture after the prediction has been done

Recommended actions that need to be taken when facing extreme climate change

Lastly, M-Farm offers an alternative way in the modern farming. We hope it will benefit the farming community with the implementation of this M-Farm in their farm so that farmers can access their farm in anywhere and at anytime.

1.2 Introduction/Background:

In the 21st century, high speed, high performance, and convenience have become a common demand for each and every one of us in the fast development social economy environment. So as to existing wired communication technology can't yet meet the need of getting communication and information at anytime anywhere (QIAN, 2003). Moreover, the integration of Internet and wireless communication technique make many applications change from ideal into reality, such as vehicle guiding, remote monitor, wireless Internet, wireless Point of Sale (POS), logistics control and etc. In a word, more and more devices are required to own the ability of wireless communication. (ZENG, 2003)

That is why the agricultural world also has experienced several stages of development. At the primitive stage which is also called human agriculture stage, human was using stoneware for farming. During the traditional agriculture stage, human just start to invent and produce ironwood tools for farming purpose. We are living in modern agriculture stage where information and knowledge are applied in farming activities. For example, modern technologies are invented for agricultural monitoring and observing the farm. Currently, concepts such as precision agriculture (De Baerdemaeker, 2001), digital agriculture (Tang, 2002), and agroinformatics start to exist. The application of the Wireless Sensor Network (WSN) (Akyildiz, 2002) is contributing toward the realization of those agriculture concepts.

Agriculture actually includes the growing of crops (including fruits, vegetables, grains, flowers and plants), keeping track of farm animals, dairy farming and cultivating soil. We need to use different parameter in monitoring for different agricultural activities. For the crops, they are very sensitive to weather and climate changes. The production that we manage to harvest during the yield period will be influenced by those changes. The farm animals are interrelated with the environment of the farm because any diseases which strike on particular animals may spread to whole farm and cause a huge loss to the farmers. For example, the "Bird Flu" that occurred in many Asian countries in 2005 has caused losses of millions of dollars (Reed Business Information, 2005). For the dairy farming, it needs a clean and fresh environment to plant the entire dairy. If minor changes occur, the production of the dairy will be affected. For farmers, soil cultivation means running a tractor over their field with a plow to break up the soil's surface. Normally, soils under bad conditions may become compacted, the soils loses its structure. So, water and nutrients no longer move through the soil and these affect the roots to grow.

Mobile and wireless technologies are rapidly increasing in the industrial world include agriculture farm. Most of the farmers are having a mobile device which can enable them to communicate with each other. Mobile device has become an important communication tool. Mobile device nowadays provide many function including voice communication, messaging, and access to any corporate data in anywhere and at anytime. The mobile device enables the user able to communicate with the crops and the farm as well. For the real time, this can be applied if the systems are all properly set up including the interface, the networks and the mobile devices. We are able to set an agriculture world by combining the mobile communication networks, Internet, and agricultural accessing. These combinations sure will enable the mobile device users to monitor their farm directly from their devices. Nowadays, wireless device based on mobile access through cellular network and Internet has emerged as a practical and common mean to collect the real time sensor data and information in anywhere and at anytime as compared with computer based web access. The most important, the mobile devices should ensure the farmers can access the devices smoothly and receive the information.

1.3 Project Scope:

In this system, farmers need to access the pictorial information on farm climate and also the information on status by using their own mobile device. Based on the information provided by the user, M-Farm will analyze the result and provide recommendations to farmers to allow necessary actions to be taken. All the information about the farm conditions will be provided such as temperature, image of the weather condition, and action to be taken will be displayed on farmer's mobile phone automatically when the analyzing process is complete.

Other than that, the mobile device that M-Farm prefers is 3G. 3G networks allow high data rates per packet transmission and allow large transmission of data such as graphics and data. M-Farm will be implemented using the 3G mobile device as an emulator. The GUI for 3G mobile applications will display both the graphics and data in different GUI interface which received from the database. Moreover, a database server will be set up for storing the farm data. The mobile devices will enable farmers to access the database of the server to receive the information. This will help the farmers communicate "anywhere and anytime" to know the farm condition. The device can be used to connect the database in anywhere and at anytime.

1.4 Objectives:

This final year project is proposing a system called mobile based farm accessing in anywhere and at anytime named "Accessing Your Farm Anywhere and Anytime (M-Farm)" which will use mobile technology to solve agricultural information accessing. Basically, the system can help farmers to make an agricultural monitoring in anywhere and at anytime by using their mobile devices whenever it is necessary. The system can help the farmers make an observation and actions to be taken in more efficient way.

Furthermore, the aim of this system is providing a professional and accurate solution for the farmers to handle their farm. The mobile Internet can assist the farmers to get better yearly yield and managing the farm when the farm is facing extreme climate change. This application will help to observe and manage the farm and enhance a better and high quality crops.

Here are the objectives of using M-Farm for agricultural monitoring:

To allow farmers to access their farm in anywhere and at anytime.

To allow farmers to monitor their farm using mobile devices.

To provide recommendations to farmers to allow necessary actions to be taken when the farm is facing extreme climate change.

To enable farming information to be stored into a database that allows farmers to access.

To create a web based to for the farmers to access the farm information.

To demonstrate the functional of accessing farm using M-Farm to the farmers.

1.5 Justification:

Crops are the major staple food for the human population in the world. However, farmers are facing many problems when growing all the crops. The problems that the farmers need to face are bad weather, water supply and diseases. Most of the time the crops are facing problem with the extreme climate change. Crops are getting destroyed by the sudden change in temperatures or sudden arrival of rains. There are also flash floods and other natural calamities affect the crop. The heavy rains in the areas are getting unpredictable. Sometimes, the crops also affected by months of rainfall. Therefore, farmers need to ensure that their crops are in good wealth condition in anywhere and at anytime.

Traditionally, farmers are using their traditional method that is going down the farm and observe the crops, soils and weather. The farmers are spending plenty of time manage and monitor their farm. Besides, the farmers are spending most the time in taking care of the farm with lots of effort and lastly many man powers are used and spent. Some farmers are staying very near their farm in order to have a quick look of their farm condition within the fastest time. Most of the farmers determine those crops, weather and soils humidity depends to their limited knowledge and experiences. Sometimes, it will have some incorrect prediction about the weather and lastly causes a permanent loss for the farmers. The farmers are using traditional way to water the crops and sometimes the water are too much and actually this method is not precisely and inefficient as well. Besides, using traditional method is time consuming where farmer spent many times and may need few days to observe the crops. There are in all probability some of the crops are already lack of water or too much water. Usually, the farmers are facing lots of problem because of late prevention, late observation, late action being taken for all the crops and these have cause loss in crops.

Lastly, most of the farmers are lacking of the actual knowledge for handling the crops well and produce a high quality of crops. It is because most of them find it difficult to use the technology for monitoring all the crops. They do not have chance to get the latest information about the crops condition, the weather and get some relevant expert information about how to handle their crops. By using the mobile devices in monitoring, farm information can exists in anywhere and at anytime. We should fully make use of the mobile device in the agricultural monitoring since we just need to connect to the database and a real time monitoring can be done conveniently.

1.6 Technologies Involved:

1.6.1 Hardware Specification

In order to develop and test the developed system, the minimum requirements are needed:

A personal computer with the minimum requirements:

Processor: 2.0 GHz Pentium III+

Disk Space: At least 150GB of free disk space

RAM: 1.0 GB of available physical RAM

GSM modem

Cisco Switch and Router

Network cables

Cross cable Cat-5 or Cat-6

Straight through cable Cat-5 or Cat-6

1.6.2 Software Specification

There are several software that been used during system development process, which is:

Microsoft Window Server 2003

Microsoft SQL Server 2008

Wireless Toolkit 2.5.2 (Emulator)

Target Platform: Java Technology for the Wireless Industry (JTWI)

Profiles: Mobile Information Device Profile (MIDP) 2.0

Configurations: Connected Limited Device Configuration (CLDC) 1.1

Required: Wireless Messaging API 1.1 (Java Specification Request 120)

Optional: Mobile Media API (Java Specification Request 135)

Required: MIDLet-Vesion 1.0