Lindsay’s AIMS Telemetry Network Shaped Future Innovations
The technology that powers many of today’s smart irrigation systems was little more than a great idea thirty years ago.
“Computerized irrigation really began taking shape in the 1990s,” said Reece Andrews, product manager for FieldNET and Zimmatic controls. “Automated Irrigation Management System (AIMS) was Lindsay’s first digital controller, and the AIMS Telemetry Network provided remote monitoring and control to pivots with AIMS control panels. This system paved the way for computer-based pivot telemetry."
Launched in the 1990s, the AIMS Telemetry Network linked AIMS-equipped center pivots with a computer at a remote location such as a home or office. Commands entered into the computer were relayed to the AIMS panel, which gave the pivot its operating instructions. The pivot could be programmed to:
- Start, stop and change direction
- Change speed and application rate of water and chemicals to match different crops and/or soil conditions
- Start and stop end gun operation
- Start and stop two chemigation pumps
“It was the first solution that provided event-driven, real time pivot status, and it was the first to have remote programmable end guns,” Andrews said. “Growers that had to manage dozens of pivots were the pioneers – the first to adopt the technology. But word of mouth quickly got around and other growers started adopting it, too.”
While pretty basic by today’s standards, field map displays on computer screens made it possible to monitor pivot status at a glance. Color codes indicated what each pivot on the screen was doing – green, running and applying water; blue, off; yellow, applying chemicals; and red, alarm condition.
The AIMS Telemetry Network also included a summary screen that automatically compiled and stored information about each pivot, including hours of operation, amounts of water and chemicals used, pumping costs and environmental data.
“With the AIMS Telemetry Network, irrigation became easier and more efficient,” Andrews said. “It definitely paved the way for FieldNET®– today’s fully integrated, wireless management tool that gives growers the ability to monitor and control entire irrigation systems from the palm of their hand.”
This is the fourth in a series posts celebrating the history of Lindsay Corporation and the first Zimmatic center pivot. Check out previous posts at: