Trime Pico from Imko – one serious bit of soil moisture research kit!

July 4, 2013

The intelligent TRIME-PICO system has been developed for the continuous and non-destructive determination of volumetric soil moisture. It is designed for mobile field use and the system can now be connected via a new SDI-12 cable to any SDI-12 compliant telemetry system, to deliver accurate soil moisture data directly to a PC for monitoring and data logging purposes.

SDI-12 is the serial communications protocol developed for intelligent sensory instruments, like the PICO system, to accurately monitor environmental data. These instruments are typically low-power (12 volts) so are ideal for use in remote locations when communicating directly with a data logger.

The advantages of this technology is the ability to use a single available data channel for several sensors so more can be deployed, transmitting over longer distances and saving power.

IMKO was the first manufacturer of TDR measuring techniques to offer a TDR tube access probe especially designed for water content profiling. For the first time ever, the rapid, routine and non-destructive measurement of water content profiles is possible without the use of hazardous radioactive materials. The tube probe consists of a cylindrical PVC-body, which has four spring-mounted aluminium plates as TDR wave guides on opposite sides.

The measurements are performed from within a TECANAT plastic access tube which can be left in the soil. The tubes must be installed prior to taking measurements by using a specially developed drilling set, see our short video. The system enables cable lengths of up to 25m. The intelligent, automatic TDR-curve reading electronics are housed in a robust and waterproof (IP-68) PVC-cylinder which can withstand even the toughest demands of permanent field use. The low power consumption of 8mA stand-by and 100mA during the 2 to 3 second measuring period conserves power resources on site.

Typical Accuracy of the Trime Pico Probe:

Accuracy   (in % volumetric water content):
Conductivity range: 0..6dS/m 6..12dS/m 12..50dS/m
Moisture range 0..40%: ±2% ±3% with tube access probe T3C/44
Moisture range 40..70%: ±3% ±4%
Repeating accuracy: ±0.3% ±0.5%
Temperature caused drift of   electronics  (full range): ±0.3%

This soil moisture measurement equipment has recently been used in research for biodiversity crops, the detection of archaeological residues using remote sensing techniques and the study of convergent flow in unsaturated fractured chalk – all by leading scientific institutes and universities. For more information on this ground-breaking system for accurate soil moisture monitoring please click here.

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