Frequently Asked Questions

Sensor Functionalities

Our sensor measures microwaves that are naturally emitted from the soil. We can measure 4 inches (10cm) beneath the surface, right in the root zone of turfgrass. The amount of water in the soil changes the power of the emitted microwaves which allows us to calculate the volumetric soil moisture. The antenna has a 35-degree Field-of View, meaning the sensitive area is much larger than the small sample of a TDR probe or capacitive moisture sensor. This provides more spatially representative measurements. 

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In the setup process, you can configure the “garage” location where the sensor will be parked. Once a mower or maintenance cart leaves a certain radius around this “garage” a measurement is started automatically.

The sensor has WIFI to upload the data automatically, every time he comes back to where the fairway units are parked. 

Single-point probes measure a small volume of soil and can have very high variability over a small distance due to natural small-scale heterogeneity. The turfRad has a 4-foot sensitive diameter when mounted on a mower, meaning it has a large sampling volume and provides a smooth and accurate assessment of spatial soil moisture variability. Further, a big advantage to other solutions is that no additional labor is needed.

Yes, multiple sensors can be used on the same fairway mowing in parallel. Each time a new sensor uploads data, the maps are updated and new data is added to each fairway.
 multiple mowers

The turfRad App is used to configure the “garage location” and the WIFI of the sensor. It connects over Bluetooth to the sensor and sets it up for automated operation. You can download the App here:

Apple App Store, Google Play Store

Speed does not affect the accuracy of the reading, however the faster the vehicle is traveling the more distance between measurements. 7 miles an hour would give one data point for every foot of travel.

Yes, the turfRad sensor can work 24 hours a day. It does not need any sunlight and can therefore operate in the night or just before sunrise as well as in the middle of the day.

Yes, the sensors are in a waterproof enclosure and can withstand rain or hosing with normal-pressure water.

The sensor(s) can be mounted on a fairway unit with the included mount structure. The mount structure uses metal plates taped to the fairway unit, so you don’t need to drill into the expensive equipment.

They can also be mounted on a maintenance cart in a single- or array-configuration.

Since most of our customers are interested in fairways, we currently only have a mount structure for fairway units. But we can definitely help you to make a custom mount for a triplex unit.

Not yet. We are working on a lighter weight version and mount system that will allow for use on pedestrian mowers.

Yes, the mount structure uses magnets to connect to the mower. This makes it easy to remove the sensor from a unit.

The turfRad sensor is ruggedized and is sealed in a waterproof shell. They have been evaluated in the harsh conditions of Antarctica and the rain forests of Brazil. They are tough! But, if something unforeseen happens, we will repair or replace your sensor as quickly as possible, which will be in most cases less than one week. 

Software updates are pushed via WiFi with over-the-air (OTA) remote updates. We will constantly keep your sensor up-to-date with the newest firmware.

The microwave frequencies we use are much less impacted by salinity than lower frequency probes (e.g., TDR) and capacitive sensors where conductivity plays a larger role in the measurement. The impact of salinity should be minimal.

Our sensor will see the total amount of water in its field of view down to about 4 inches, however, the total volume of water present in dew is quite low compared to the amount of water contained in this upper layer of soil. Dew will therefore have a negligible impact on the soil moisture readings.

No problem! We can suggest a 4G LTE router for you, that you can install within 15min at the location where the mowers come back.

Getting Started

Book a meeting with us or our distributor ASB taskTracker. We will give you an overview of the sensor, what is needed to start mapping your soil moisture and make you an individual offer. Once your sensors arrive, mount your sensor with the provided mounting system and set them up with your local WIFI network. Once the mower comes back you should have your maps within 30min in the taskTracker software.

To configure the sensor to a WIFI network you need to download our turfRad-App:

Apple App Store, Google Play Store

Once downloaded you can take one sensor at a time, and stand at the location where you want to set the “garage center”. Go through the wizard and configure each sensor.

Yes, we can take any format of georeferenced drone imagery and convert this to your base map when viewing moisture maps. Our example from the taskTracker website uses exactly this.

If you don’t have a drone image you can get one with https://www.turfinsight.io/

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We can take multiple formats of as-built drawings to integrate your irrigation system. Our preferred formats are shapefiles and geojsons.

 

Mapping Features

You will be passively collecting soil moisture measurements every time your mowers are out with the mounted sensor.

The data will be uploaded automatically over Wi-Fi after you are done mowing and will be available within 30 minutes. It provides alerts for specific thresholds that you set per zone. You can use those soil moisture maps to program your irrigation system. With accurate and precise moisture maps, you will know which sprinkler heads need water and which do not. You will be able to recognize heads that are stuck or need to be turned off before you start losing turf. You will also be able to better manage hot spots and plan for better drainage. It all starts with precision measurements.

That is no problem! You can start straight ahead with a high-resolution satellite base map.  If you later want to add a drone map, that’s always possible.

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Hardware Coverage 

RadCare: Every turfRad sensor comes with one year of hardware repair coverage. This
limited warranty means that TerraRad Tech will replace or fix all manufacturer’s defects
free of charge.

*Warranty policy: No refunds will be provided for functional Goods delivered to the customer. Goods delivered are warranted to be free from defects in materials or workmanship for 365 days from the date of delivery. This warranty does not apply to: incorrect treatment or installation of the Goods.

Express Replacement: Upon confirmation that quick fixes are out of the question, we’ll send you a working turfRad sensor as soon as possible.

*How turfRad express replacement service works:
1.Send an email to support@terraradtech.com with a photo of the defect, and write us a line about what’s wrong with your sensor.
2.Our team will make sure that we can’t help you resolve your issue with a call.
3.If quick fixes are out of the question, we’ll send you a replacement sensor.
4.Return the original sensor within 10 days of TerraRad shipping your replacement sensor.

At turfRad, everything we do is geared towards making our users happy. For more
information on the terms and conditions of our support programs, please contact your
authorized turfRad dealer or send us an email at support@terraradtech.com.