Industry 4.0 is an idea towards using digital twins in a framework of digital-physical systems. The idea is transferable to agricultural irrigation systems and generate ecological and economic additional values. Under the condition that water is conditionally sufficiently available, it must be used optimally. Networks of sensors record the actual situation on the field. Holistic models as the core of the digital twin can determine, predict, and optimise irrigation, regardless of the regional climate in which the system is used. In the further development, the basics of networked models, are already integrated into the system. This allows the targeted prediction of heavy rainfall and the resulting soil losses.
This research focuses on the development and application of an off-grid supported digital physical systems (DPS) for irrigation. A configuration based on solar pumps and optimised irrigation systems was developed for this purpose. Soil moisture sensors, a climate station, and settings of the irrigation system are continuously logged and automatically pre-processed in a database. The hydrological model MKE SHE is used as a forecasted digital twin. It determines current soil evaporation and transpiration and soil moisture for different irrigation techniques. An optimisation delivers the actual control settings for the irrigation system. In addition, numerical modelling allows the integration of individual soil and irrigation strategies. Via an OPC (Open Platform Communication) interface the irrigation system is directly controlled by the digital twin. The applicability was tested on research plots in Saxony-Anhalt (middle Germany). A further goal is to reduce the damage and influence of salination by means of needs-based irrigation adapted to the soil. The fact that this is possible has been proven within the research project SuMaRiO.