Engineering applications of soil information system (sis): precision irrigation and drainage systems design
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The objectives of this internship were to demonstrate and apply the knowledge and technical training obtained during Doctor of Engineering coursework and to become familiar with the organizational approach to problems. These objectives were fulfilled in three commercial research and development projects in the field of precision agriculture. The first project involved optimization of a center pivot irrigation system in coordination with the system’s manufacturing company in order to apply irrigation water to maintain uniform soil water content across the field. An optimization-simulation model was developed for this purpose using a dynamic programming approach. The simulations run by the optimization model showed that the existing pivot speed prescription resulted in a more uniform soil water content across the field reducing the crop yield losses. The objective of the second internship project was to analyze the agricultural drainage industry for identification of the potential applications of the spatial soil information into agricultural drainage design and construction. In order to accomplish this task, a comprehensive literature survey was conducted with an emphasis on the drainage approximate equation and numerical methods. Software tools that are currently employed in drainage design and construction were evaluated. A detailed market analysis was conducted with a focus on the industry stakeholders. A strategic strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT) analysis was conducted for the agricultural drainage industry using Porter’s five forces method. The last internship project involved investigation of the potential for using soil information obtained by SIS in the assessment of soil salinity. A correlation analysis was conducted between the soil paste extract electrical conductivity values measured in the laboratory on collected soil samples and those estimated using the soil resistivity values collected by the SIS, which is a measure of soil salinity. The results showed no clear correlations. While the internship projects provided the intern the opportunity to apply some of the analytical methods learned as part of the Doctor of Engineering coursework, they also provided invaluable experience for the intern to understand research and development projects in a business environment, which was one of the major objectives of the internship.
Ceylan, Bilge Kagan (2008). Engineering applications of soil information system (sis): precision irrigation and drainage systems design. Doctoral dissertation, Texas A&M University. Available electronically from