A Novel Thermo-Time Domain Reflectometer for Unprecedented Soil Property Determination
Award last edited on: 3/29/2021

Sponsored Program
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Solicitation Topic Code
Principal Investigator
Scott K Anderson

Company Information

Acclima Inc

1763 West Marcon Lane Suite 175
Meridian, ID 83642
   (208) 887-1470
Location: Single
Congr. District: 01
County: Ada

Phase I

Contract Number: 2018-33610-28543
Start Date: 9/1/2018    Completed: 4/30/2019
Phase I year
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1. The developed instrument will provide a simple means for in-situ measurement of the bulk density of powdery substances such as powdered foods, cosmetics, chemicals, and soils. In the food and cosmetics processing industries it will provide a monitoring and feedback tool that will improve the control of milling, grinding, mixing and packing processes. In agriculture it will allow the assessment of soil type suitability for optimum crop selection thus assisting in the increase of the net overall yield of the worlds food producing soils. For example, peach trees do not thrive and produce well in compacted, high density soils. It will also provide soil density, compaction and infiltration data that will aid in more effective irrigation practices, thus assist in improving crop yields, crop quality, conservation of fresh water, and minimization of stream contamination from agricultural runoff.2. For use in food and cosmetics factories the instrument could be packaged as a production-line-mounted instrument that is exposed to the powdery material being manufactured. Feedback from the instrument could be used to control the upstream grinding or milling processes thus maintaining a consistent density in the produced product. In agricultural applications it could be mounted to a Pogo-stick-like handle where manual probings could be made. The readout device would contain a GPS unit and cellular radio so that the probed data could be relayed directly to a cloud-based database where the density readings would be mapped. The resulting mapped density information would then be used by agricultural people in assessing their fields for optimum use in food production. Alternately, the device could be mounted to a hydraulically actuated probe on a tractor (perhaps a driverless model) that would automatically take the readings and deposit the data to the cloud. Such an implementation would be the foundation of service businesses throughout the world that would provide soil mappings to farmers.3. The ultimate goal of this product for Acclima, Inc is a significant increase in business revenues through the manufacture and sale of the instruments proposed in (2) above. But there is also a significant benefit to farmers who will benefit in better crop planning decisions and better utilization of their acreages. New businesses can emerge based on the use of this tool in providing mapping services to farmers thus benefiting the economy in agriculturally intense areas.

Phase II

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Start Date: 00/00/00    Completed: 00/00/00
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