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The electronic monitoring devices and hardware were also carefully selected to monitor system parameters

that could lead to catastrophic failure if not properly responded to in the event of a malfunction. These
parameters include grow bed water level, water temperature, humidity, water quality and water clog on
pipes. Having decided that these parameters are critical and must be monitored to ensure that the system
does not fall into unreported critical failure, each electronic component was selected to ensure adequate
monitoring at the lowest possible cost. To that end, the following decisions were made:

Parameter Selection Alternatives

Water Temperature Temperature Sensor Couldn’t find other food safe
DHT11 temperature sensors
Humidity Humidity Sensor Couldn’t find other food safe
DHT11 (built in with Temp temperature sensors
Sensor) E-201 -C
Water Clog Detection Ultrasonic Sensor eTape Liquid Level Sensor – Not
chosen because it was too small
& expensive
Water Quality pH Quality Couldn’t find other food safe pH
E-201-C sensors

The sensors selected, shown above in Table __, were chosen because they offered the least expensive
solution that was both food safe and met the minimum resolution requirement specified in the design
requirement section. The lack of options in food safe monitoring solutions was a complication that caused
difficulty in various stages of this project. Thankfully, there are sensors produces high qualities, water proof,
food safe that can be submerged indefinitely. These sensors are used to monitor select parameters in this
project, along with an ultrasonic sensor which does not come in contact with the biological components.
In this part, static and dynamic characteristics of sensing systems will be presented. Their
importance will be highlighted and their influence on the operation of sensing systems will be
The characteristics of a sensor can be classified into two static and dynamic groups. Understanding the
dynamic and static characteristics behaviours are imperative in correctly mapping the output versus input of
a system (measurand). In the following sections, the static and dynamic characteristics will be defined and
their importance in sensing systems will be illustrated.
Static Characteristics
Static characteristics are those that can be measured after all transient effects have been stabilized to their
final or steady state values. Static characteristics relate to issues such as how a sensor’s output change in
response to an input change, how selective the sensor is, how external or internal interferences can affect
its response, and how stable the operation of a sensing system can be. Several of the most important static
characteristics are as follows:
- Accuracy
Accuracy of a sensing system represents the correctness of its output in comparison to the actual value of
a measurand. To assess the accuracy, either the system is benchmarked against a standard measurand or
the output is compared with a measurement system with a superior accuracy. For instance considering a
temperature sensing system, when the real temperature is 20.0 C, the system is more accurate, if it shows
20.1 C rather than 21.0 C.
- Precision
Precision represents capacity of a sensing system to give the same reading when repetitively measuring
the same measurand under the same conditions. The precision is a statistical parameter and can be
assessed by the standard deviation (or variance) of a set of readings of the system for similar inputs.

Figure ___ - The difference between accuracy and precision

For instance, a temperature sensing system is precise, if when the ambient temperature is 21.0 C and it
shows 22.0, 22.1, or 21.9 C in three different consecutive measurements. It is not considered precise, if it
shows 21.5, 21.0, and 20.5 C although the measured values are closer to the actual temperature. The
game of darts can be used as another good example of the difference between the accuracy and precision
definitions (as can be seen in Fig. ___).
- Repeatability
When all operating and environmental conditions remain constant, repeatability is the sensing system’s
ability to produce the same response for successive measurements. Repeatability is closely related to
precision. Both long-term and short-term repeatability estimates can be important for a sensing system. For
a temperature sensing system, when ambient temperature remains constant at 21.0 C, if the system shows
21.0, 21.1, and 21.0 C in 1 min intervals, and shows 22.0, 22.1, and 22.2 C after 1 h, in similar 1 min
intervals, the system has a good short-term and poor long-term repeatability.
- Reproducibility
Reproducibility is the sensing system’s ability to produce the same responses after measurement
conditions have been altered. For example, if a temperature sensing system shows similar responses; over
a long time period, or when readings are performed by different operators, or at different laboratories, the
system is reproducible.
- Stability
Stability is a sensing system’s ability to produce the same output value when measuring the same
measurand over a period of time.
- Error
Error is the difference between the actual value of the measurand and the value produced by the sensing
system. Error can be caused by a variety of internal and external sources and is closely related to
accuracy. Accuracy can be related to absolute or relative error as:
Absolute Error = Output – True Value
𝑂𝑢𝑡𝑝𝑢𝑡−𝑇𝑟𝑢𝑒 𝑉𝑎𝑙𝑢𝑒
Relative Error = 𝑇𝑟𝑢𝑒 𝑉𝑎𝑙𝑢𝑒

For instance, in a temperature sensing system, if temperature is 21 C and the system shows 21.1 C, then
the absolute and relative errors are equal to 0.1 C and 0.0047 C, respectively. While the absolute error has
the same unit as the measurand, the relative error is unitless.
Errors are produced by fluctuations in the output signal and can be systematic (e.g., drift or interferences
from other systems) or random (e.g., random noise).
- Drift
Drift is observed when a gradual change in the sensing system’s output is seen, while the measurand
actually remains constant. Drift is the undesired change that is unrelated to the measurand. It is considered
a systematic error, which can be attributed to interfering parameters such as mechanical instability and
temperature instability, contamination, and the sensor’s materials degradation. It is very common to assess
the drift with respect to a sensor’s baseline. Baseline is the output value, when the sensor is not exposed to
a stimulus. Logically for a sensor with no drift, the baseline should remain constant.
For instance, in a semiconducting gas sensor, a gradual change of temperature may change the baseline.
Additionally, gradual diffusion of the electrode’s metal into substrate or sensitive layer may gradually
change the conductivity of the sensitive element, which deteriorates the baseline value and causes a drift.
- Resolution
Resolution (or discrimination) is the minimal change of the measurand that can produce a detectable
increment in the output signal. Resolution is strongly limited by any noise in the signal.
A temperature sensing system with four digits has a higher resolution than three digits. When the ambient
temperature is 21 C, the higher resolution system (four digits) output is 21.00 C while the lower resolution
system (three digits) is 21.0 C. Obviously, the lower resolution system cannot resolve any values between
21.01 C and 21.03 C.
- Selectivity
Selectivity is the sensing system’s ability to measure a target measurand in the presence of others
interferences. For example, an oxygen gas sensor that does not show any response to other gas species,
such as carbon dioxide or nitrogen oxide, is considered a very selective sensor.

Dynamic Characteristics
A sensing system response to a dynamically changing measurand can be quite different from when it is
exposed to time invariable measurand. In the presence of a changing measurand, dynamic characteristics
can be employed to describe the sensing system’s transient properties. They can be used for defining how
accurately the output signal is employed for the description of a time varying measurand. These
characteristics deal with issues such as the rate at which the output changes in response to a measurand
alteration and how these changes occur.

Sensors Standards

 Temperature and Humidity Sensor (DHT11 )

DHT11 digital temperature and humidity sensor is a composite Sensor contains a calibrated digital signal
output of the temperature and humidity. Application of a dedicated digital modules collection technology
and the temperature and humidity sensing technology, to ensure that the product has high reliability and
excellent long-term stability. The sensor includes a resistive sense of wet components and an NTC
temperature measurement devices, and connected with a high-performance 8-bit microcontroller.
HVAC, dehumidifier, testing and inspection equipment, consumer goods, automotive, automatic control,
data loggers, weather stations, home appliances, humidity regulator, medical and other humidity
measurement and contro
Serial communication instructions (single-wire bi-directional)

 Single bus Description

DHT11 uses a simplified single-bus communication. Single bus that only one data line, the system of data
exchange, control by a single bus to complete. Device (master or slave) through an open-drain or tri-state
port connected to the data line to allow the device does not send data to release the bus, while other
devices use the bus; single bus usually require an external one about 5.1kΩ pull-up resistor, so that when
the bus is idle, its status is high. Because they are the master-slave structure, and only when the host calls
the slave, the slave can answer, the host access devices must strictly follow the single-bus sequence, if the
chaotic sequence, the device will not respond to the host.

 Single bus to transfer data defined

DATA For communication and synchronization between the microprocessor and DHT11, single-bus data
format, a transmission of 40 data, the high first-out.
Data format:
The 8bit humidity integer data + 8bit the Humidity decimal data +8 bit temperature integer data + 8bit
fractional temperature data +8 bit parity bit.

 Parity bit data definition

“8bit humidity integer data + 8bit humidity decimal data +8 bit temperature integer data + 8bit temperature
fractional data” 8bit checksum is equal to the results of the last eight.
Example 1: 40 data is received:

Calculate: 0011 0101+0000 0000+0001 1000+0000 0000= 0100 1101

Received data is correct:

Humidity:0011 0101=35H=53%RH

Temperature:0001 1000=18H=24℃