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Proceedings 2017, 1(2), 10;

Application of Standard EPC/GEN2 UHF RFID Tags as Soil Moisture Sensors

Department of Mechanical Engineering (Rafael V. Aroca) and Department of Electrical Engineering, Federal University of São Carlos (UFSCar)/Rod., Washington Luís Km 235, SP-310/São Carlos, SP 13565-905, Brazil
Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of São Paulo (USP), São Carlos 13566-590, Brazil
Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation (EMBRAPA), São Carlos 13560-970, Brazil
Presented at the 3rd International Electronic Conference on Sensors and Applications (ECSA 2016), 15–30 November 2016; Available online:
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Published: 14 November 2016
PDF [750 KB, uploaded 5 July 2017]


This paper presents a system to estimate soil moisture through the reading of standard Ultra High Frequency (UHF) passive Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tags that can be buried in the soil, allowing wireless moisture measurement without the need of using batteries in the field for long periods. In the proposed system, one or more passive EPC/GEN2 tags acts as sensors buried in the soil. The system dispenses external cables and antennas and may be composed of a single RFID tag buried in a specific soil depth or by several RFID tags buried at different depths. An antenna coupled to a RFID reader can be pointed to the place of installation of these tags, and by measuring the received signal strength indicator (RSSI) and other variables, direct estimation of the water content can be done. In addition to its simplified installation procedure, the system allows manual and automatic robotic reading through irrigation systems or other systems for irrigation scheduling.
Keywords: RFID; UHF; soil moisture; sensor; battery-less; wireless RFID; UHF; soil moisture; sensor; battery-less; wireless
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Aroca, R.V.; Hernandes, A.C.; Magalhães, D.V.; Becker, M.; Vaz, C.M.P.; Calbo, A.G. Application of Standard EPC/GEN2 UHF RFID Tags as Soil Moisture Sensors. Proceedings 2017, 1, 10.

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