Beginning in 2008, TFT began working with a scientist in the UK was working on wireless moisture sensors for agriculture. The sensor assembly is buried in the farmer’s field along with the crops and continuously monitors water content and temperature of the soil. The data is transmitted wirelessly to a data collection station informing the farmer of the field’s conditions allowing them to make informed decisions regarding water, fertilizer and pesticide application.
Part of the sensor design required a heating element and sense resistor working together as part of the system to measure moisture content. From the initial design with an area of 3100 mm2, and working together with the customer, the two subsequent generations of sensors were reduced first to 900 mm2 and finally to 79 mm2 a reduction of 39X the area of the initial design.