Frequently Asked Questions
What is the Teralytic probe?
Teralytic’s wireless probe contains 26 sensors reporting soil moisture, salinity, and NPK at three different depths, as well as aeration, respiration, air temperature, light, and humidity. Probes transmit data every 15 minutes, which users can access on Teralytic’s dashboard or another platform via Teralytic’s open API. These previously inaccessible types and quantities of data allow growers and agronomists to manage soil quality with precise control. And with our long-range wireless network, we offer connectivity for large farms in all parts of the world.
What is the Teralytic dashboard?
The Teralytic platform is an easy-to-use dashboard housing all of the data and analytics for your land. Information from the 26 sensors measuring elements of the microclimate, soil, and gas will be aggregated in the cloud and sent to this dashboard for real-time snapshots of your soil conditions.
How do I install the Teralytic probe?
Once the LoRa gateway is connected, and you’ve chosen your probe placement, installation takes only a few simple steps: auger a hole, collect soil samples, apply a soil paste to each of the probe’s sensor cartridges, insert the probe into the ground, mount the head, and turn it on.
How is data sent from the fields?
Our sensors are continuously working to get you the data you need, when you need it. Here’s how the system works:
- Our probes collect data from your soils and send wirelessly via LoRaWAN, a long-distance network that transmits sensor data one to two miles away, depending on the landscape.
- Our gateways aggregate all probe data and send it to the cloud in a secure, continuous, live stream.
- In our cloud, we run analytics on your data based on soil conditions compiled by governments, universities, and the unique criteria from your farm.
- We report back to you with real-time and predictive insights using readable charts—and you use the insight on your farm.
What is LoRa?
LoRa stands for “long range.” LoRa networks enable low power, wide area communication with remote sensors. This allows us to send much smaller amounts of data at longer ranges, extending connectivity into areas, fields, and plots that are too difficult or too expensive to wire. It is how the soil probes communicate with the cloud, driving the data and analytics on our dashboard. With this kind of network, a farm can “talk” to a computer.
How do the probes send data to the dashboard?
Your Teralytic subscription includes a gateway to facilitate a LoRa network connection. The gateway itself is a small box that should be mounted ideally 40 feet high in your field to allow for the furthest connection. It can be set up virtually anywhere in the field and is used to aggregate probe data and send it to the cloud in a secure, continuous, live stream. That data then appears on Teralytic’s dashboard, accessible on either mobile or desktop, reporting from 26 sensors in the probe, reporting soil moisture, salinity, NPK, aeration, respiration, air temperature, light, and humidity—all in real-time.
Our gateway can be connected directly to broadband, satellite, or cellular networks, making it functional in most if not all parts of the world, regardless of existing LoRa infrastructure.
What kinds of fields can the probes be used in?
The Teralytic probe will work in most agricultural environments, from small plots to commercial farms.
How many acres does a probe cover?
It depends on the crop and management practices of the grower. From the beginning, we’ve made a conscious effort to fit into each farmers’ existing management practices, so they don’t have to make a lot of operational changes. Most high-value crop growers manage their fields via grid or rows, so we typically recommend a probe every 1 to 10 acres. Most grain growers manage via soil zones, so we typically place a probe every soil zone, which comes out to, on average, about a probe every 30 to 50 acres. Non-irrigated broadacre might have a probe every 50 to 80 acres, all soil zone-dependent. And these are all on average—some fields might have more soil zones than others, some might have a different topology.
What is the battery life for each probe?
Probe battery replacement is included in our annual subscription fee. Currently, you should expect it to run one year. We’re actively working to extend this battery life even longer, so your probe can last as long as possible in your fields without maintenance.
Can the probes be used in freezing temperatures?
For annual cropping systems, we recommend removing your probes from the ground before harvest. For perennial cropping systems, it’s best to remove before the average soil temperature drops below freezing.
Can I use the probes without the analytics?
Our probes rely on a cloud-based analytics model and our backend system to produce real-time data from your fields, so they will not provide data outside of our subscription model. However, we do offer an API and data export so that you can use the probe data with other platforms if you’d like.
Who owns the data generated by the probes?
Farmers own their data. We reserve the right to keep anonymized data that will help us improve our algorithms to make better recommendations for everyone who uses our platform.
How quickly can I see my data after installation?
After connecting the probes, please allow 24 to 48 hours for calibration. Then, you should start seeing real-time soil data on your dashboard.
What kinds of data does the probe collect?
Each probe includes 26 sensors, measuring at three different depths. Microclimate sensors measure air temperature, humidity, and light at the probe’s head; gas sensors measure aeration (O2) and respiration (CO2) at the 6” and 12” depths; and soil sensors measure NPK, pH, soil moisture, salinity, and soil temperature at the 6”, 12”, and 18” depths.
How can I ensure my data is secure?