The use of wireless technologies in the field of agriculture, or so-called smart or precision agriculture, is considered as one of the main efforts applied nowadays to multiply the food production on earth. However, wireless sensor network (WSN) technology is still at its early development stage and its application in agriculture and food industry is still rare due to the lack of farmers' awareness and outreach about the matter. This paper presents a new agro-sensor named AgriLogger with an aim to collect, store for long periods and transmit agrometeorological data represented by temperature and relative humidity in remote areas hard to reach and not served by telecommunication networks. The sensor exhibits long battery life, in the order of 10 years, thanks to low consumption technologies and to hardware sleep/wake up approach. It can be remotely placed on preselected sites through a customized drone. This latter, equipped with a dedicated payload, can then return on the sites where sensors have been placed, and, while hovering, wakes up the single devices and uploads their collected data through local wireless network. Field tests have demonstrated that the sensor, after being placed manually in two different positions, inside and outside a vineyard canopy, is able to collect and store successfully agrometeorological data like temperature and relative humidity. Moreover, the use of a drone potentially allows the collection of data from remote areas and, therefore, is able to provide a periodical monitoring of agro-ecological conditions.
Keywords: Internet of Things; agro-meteorological data; drone; microclimate monitoring; precision farming; sensor; smart agriculture; wireless technologies.