Irrigate soils more effectively with 5G technology

Water is the most important production factor in agriculture worldwide and therefore in the production of food. Additional irrigation is essential in unfavorable soil or climatic conditions, to safeguard and increase productivity in an environmentally friendly way or to grow higher-value products.

The district of Uelzen is one of the most irrigation-intensive districts in Germany, which is why the region is working intensively on sustainable additional field irrigation.

The research project

Construction of 5G infrastructure

To implement the project, a 5G campus network including a 25 to 30 meter high mobile phone mast will be erected in Suderburg. The agricultural test area to be made accessible by radio technology is 1.4 km². A data center with several servers, the necessary system technology and an uninterruptible power supply will be set up on the nearby test farm, the AGRAVIS Future Farm. The network components will be connected to the district's own fiber optic network in order to be able to handle the resulting data traffic.

  • Creation of a network design
  • Applying for the necessary 5G licenses
  • Development of physical infrastructure
  • Construction of a data center

Ground & air sensors

The central element is the design and development of a sensor network including airborne imaging sensors in order to gain an overview of the condition of the area using a large number of sensors and multispectral drones with cameras. So far, 5G-capable soil moisture sensors are not commercially available in Germany or internationally. The project therefore aims to further develop the hardware and software for the planned sensor mix.

  • Upgrade and development of sensor technology
  • Procurement and installation of equipment
  • Equipment and 5G adaptation of drone technology
  • Development of the application for sensor data transmission


Field trials & testing

On the experimental cultivation area, the AGRAVIS Future Farm, the various field trials are carried out under real conditions using 5G technology and sensors. The aim is to generate a detailed map of the soil and plant moisture of the agricultural trial area, which will form the basis for future site-specific irrigation. To this end, various soil sensors are installed in the area and drone overflights are carried out. The 5G-based real-time transmission of sensor data and images in the established 5G campus network is being tested.

  • Planning and implementation of field management
  • Testing and evaluation of soil moisture sensors
  • Testing and analysis of multispectral drone technology
  • Determination of the area status (water, soil, plant status) in real time


Data processing & software development

A core task in the project is the conceptualization, development and testing of an open, AI-based data platform in which the data from the field tests are recorded and processed. The software platform to be developed will be used to process data of the sensors connected via 5G from the ground and air, combine it with other data sources (e.g. weather, harvest results, geodata, data on or from agricultural machinery, etc.) and derive an optimized irrigation recommendation.

  • Consideration of various sources of information
  • Development of AI-based software platform
  • Setting up the necessary interfaces
  • Creation of area-specific irrigation map


Optimized irrigation concept

The aim is to further develop the overall field irrigation system and to irrigate agricultural crops more efficiently and in a resource-saving manner in the future. The sensor data and measurement results obtained in the trials will be combined and processed using AI. The 5G applications and software solutions developed should make it possible to make evidence-based decisions and achieve autonomous and effective irrigation that is accurate to the exact area and corresponds to the condition of the plants and soil.

  • Validation of the sensor systems
  • Elimination of inconsistencies in individual measurement results
  • Decision-making about additional irrigation
  • Implementation of partial area irrigation


GDPR Cookie Consent with Real Cookie Banner