FAQs

Soil probes

What type of soil probes do you use and sell ?
We work mainly with two or three types of soil probes which we regard as the best in their technology.
These are the Sentek range of products from Sentek Technologies in Adelaide ( Australia ) and
EnviroPro which is a multi level soil probe providing data on soil moisture, soil salinity and soil
temperature.

These sensors connect to data loggers or radio controlled management systems
What is a capacitance probe ?

A capacitance soil probe measures the dielectric constant of a soil. From this value a level of soil
moisture can be determined using a series of soil co-efficient algorithms.

Sentek capacitance soil sensor
The Sentek soil capacitance sensor makes up the sensing component of the Sentek soil probe.
Multiple sensors can be placed on a single probe rod allowing flexibility in measuring depths
What is an 'access tube' ?

an access tube is a plastic tube which is installed in the soil to allow the insertion of the Sentek series
of soil probes. The capacitance sensors don't actually come into contact with the soil but measure soil
moisture through the plastic tube. Calibrations factors adjust for the plastic tube.

The EnviroPro soil probes do not use an 'access ' tube as the sensors are encapsulated all as one
unit. The advantage of the EnviroPro is that it can be buried out of sight and thus ideal for open parks
and public spaces.


How do you install an 'access tube' ?

- the holes for the access tubes are prepared by very careful auguring a hole a few millimeters larger
than the diameter of the access tubes. We use what is known as the 'slurry' installation technique
where we make up a soil slurry and pour this into the augured hole. We then push the access tube into
the slurry. This ensures that there is a very tight fit of the access tune and no air gaps between to outer
surface of the access tube and surrounding soil. We also use this slurry technique to install the
EnviroPro soil probes
What is telemetry ?

Telemetry is really just sending data via radio. We have a few options for radio and these depend on
the distances transmitted. Most license free type telemetry in Australia uses either what is called
spread spectrum radios operating in the 900 MHz range or radios operating in lower frequencies such
as 151 MHz and and 433 MHz. Distances obtained depend on surrounding environments and we
generally operate in what is called line -of-sight situations.

We can transmit data up to 16 kilometers in some situations and then can also deploy repeater units
to increase the flexibility of the transmission.

What is GPRS and Next G telemetry ?

GPRS refers to General Packet Radio Service.
This is a data transmission service offered by mobile phone companies. We find this an exceptional
way to handle environmental data. Field data can be sent from our field units to (our) fixed IP
address. This data can then be download from the fixed IP ( web site ) to your PC. We have found
this service provides excellent trouble free means of remote data recording.
Water quality monitoring

We usually use fixed field instrumentation connected to field data recorders. These data recorders are
then connected to the mobile phone network or GPRS transmitters.
What parameters can you measure ?
The main parameters we measure and water level, pH , electrical conductivity and temperature. We
also measure dissolved oxygen and currently deploying florescence based oxygen probes with good
success.These sensors are generally attached to another water quality instrument such as made by
TPS - Brisbane - Australia . In some instances we connect the sensors direct to our data recorder

Business
How long have you been in business ?
Our business was registered in 1996 - see list of projects to get an idea of the work done in recent
years
Where do you work ?
We work work nationally and happy to work internationally as well. see also under the About Us and
Projects headings.
Email - info@peakmonitoring.com.au
Sentek video - installing access tubes using DRY ( non Slurry )  technique
PEAK ENVIRONMENTAL MONITORING