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Enabling better global research outcomes in soil, plant & environmental monitoring.

MP406 Moisture Sensor

Measure volumetric moisture content of soils and other material for scientific research, agriculture and civil engineering.

The MP406 has a reinforced body and stainless steel needles making it ideal for use in extreme environments such as mine sites, landfills and saline soils as well as standard agricultural soils. The quality manufacture of the MP406 leaves it with a lifespan of 20+ years in the most extreme environmental conditions.

The MP406 is the best sensor available for any serious researcher or scientist to measure accurately the moisture of soils in the field. Measurements are not affected by temperature or salinity. The MP406 can be used to take continuous measurements over time through permanent or temporary burial and connection to a soil moisture meter (SMM).

The MP406 is also used to measure the moisture content in materials used in mining, roadway and buildings. The material that can be measured by the MP406 is often soil but can be any composition of non-metallic powdered, liquid or solid substance into which the needles are inserted. It is especially suitable for mineral stock piles, mine tailings and sand for batch mixing of concrete.

The MP406 Soil Moisture Sensor can also measure soil water potential via the SMM Soil Moisture Meter and a soil water characteristic curve.

MP406 Soil Moisture Sensor Features

  • Volumetric Soil Water Content (%) or can simultaneously measure soil water potential
  • Highly accurate and precise
  • Robust, stainless steel needles and epoxy body
  • Measures in saline, toxic and high temperature soils
  • Rapid measurement
  • Can be buried for up to 20 years

 

Utilising the MP406 sensor in a custom IoT (Internet of Things) package

The SNiP-MP4 is a ‘Sensor Node Integrated Package’ for LoRaWAN or CAT-M1 communication of real-time soil moisture measurements for continuous soil, plant and environmental monitoring.

The SNiP-MP4 integrates 1x MP406 Sensor with an MFR-NODE to a site’s unique network, communication and power requirements. An extended SNiP-MP4 can support up to 4x MP406 sensors or 3x additional compatible sensors.

Alternatively, the SNiP-SPW3 integrates 1x MFR-NODE and three sensors to a site’s unique network, communication and power requirements: 1x DBS60 Band Dendrometer, 1x Atmos-14 and 1x MP406 Soil Moisture Probe for greater environmental monitoring. The MFR-NODE can support an additional sensor.

mp406-tdr-01 mp406-oven-01

MP406 uses the standing wave principle of measurement. It is equivalent to a Time Domain Reflectometry (TDR) sensor without the need for a complex and expensive pulse generator. MP406 is a high accuracy, precision sensor with +/- 1%VWC accuracy following soil-specific calibration and 0.01%VWC resolution.

  • The MP406 is ideally supported by the Soil Moisture Meter (SMM), a wireless, stand-alone logging instrument available from ICT International. With the SMM, MP406 sensors can be individually calibrated for maximum accuracy.
  • The SMM can support up to 5 MP406 sensors.
  • For complete monitoring solutions, the MP406 is used in combination with the MP306 soil volumetric moisture content sensor, tensiometers for soil water potential, ICTO2 soil oxygen sensor, or the ICT International automatic weather station.

MP406 Accuracy

The results from measurement of absolute volumetric soil water percent (VSW%) from prepared soil samples using the MP406 are given above (Figure 1). This result is typical of the results obtained from comparative testing of the MP406 in prepared soil samples, for a wide range of agricultural soils.

Standing Wave Technology and hence the MP406 are not affected by changes in temperature or salinity of the soil or material being measured and hence the values of VSW% are equivalent to oven dried water content.

What is Standing Wave?

The standing wave technique uses an oscillator to generate an electrical field in order to detect the dielectric properties of a substrate of interest. The parallel needles of an MP406 act as a coaxial transmission line to generate a signal. The amplitude of the signal is related to the dielectric constant which in turn is directly related to moisture content.

Results

The results from measurement of absolute volumetric soil water percent (VSW%) from prepared soil samples using the MP406 are given alongside. This result is typical of the results obtained from comparative testing of the MP406 in prepared soil samples, for a wide range of agricultural soils. Standing Wave Technology and hence the MP406 are not affected by changes in temperature or salinity of the soil or material being measured and hence the values of VSW% are equivalent to oven dried water content.

Polynomial Look-up Table

Linearisation tables can be added to Data Loggers using the following data:
Converting Data Table for MP406. From VSW% to mV & mA

Soil moisture VSW%
Millivolts Volts
0% 120 0.120
5% 210 0.210
10% 310 0.310
15% 415 0.415
20% 510 0.510
25% 610 0.610
30% 720 0.720
35% 825 0.825
40% 895 0.895
45% 955 0.955
50% 1005 1.005
55% 1015 1.015
60% 1025 1.025
65% 1035 1.035
70% 1045 1.045
75% 1055 1.055
80% 1065 1.065
85% 1070 1.070
90% 1080 1.080
95% 1095 1.095
100% 1106 1.106

 

MP406 Soil Moisture Probe

Measurement

Measurement Range 0-100 VSW%
Accuracy +/- 1%
Resolution 0.01% VSW%
Response Time Less than 0.5 seconds
Stabilisation Time 3 seconds approximately from power-up

Interface

Input Requirements 7-18 V DC unregulated
Power Consumption 24 mA typical, 30mA max
Output signal 0-1160mV for 0-100 VSW%

Mechanical

Total Length 210 mm
Needle Length 60 mm
Needle Seperation 12 mm
Needles Stainless Steel (Grade 316) – does not corrode in saline solutions
Exterior ABS Plastic
Cable 4.5m Standard

Other

Environment Designed for permanent or temporary burial

MP406 and MP306 Wiring R1-1