Analysing Grass Conditions in Soccer Stadiums

Analysing Grass Conditions in Soccer Stadiums article picture
Published: Friday, November 28, 2008 The grass in soccer stadiums suffers and degrades in time due to practice, matches and weather. To recover and stay in top condition, the grass growth needs to be sufficient all year round. The Grass Analyser was developed to monitor the conditions of the pitch. The Analyser contains several sensors in different locations: in the soil; just above the grass; and on top of the station.

Two PQS 1 PAR Quantum Sensors in every Grass Analyser
The soil moisture and temperature sensor is buried just below the roots of the grass. This measures the root activity and the available water around the root system, over a length of 3 metres. The portable part of the Grass Analyser stands on the pitch and contains a Kipp & Zonen PQS 1, together with temperature and relative humidity sensors. Another PQS 1 is placed on the roof of the stadium.

PQS 1 measures the Photosynthetically Active Radiation (PAR) that plants use to grow. The output is calibrated in µmol/m2.s of natural daylight in outdoor conditions. Thanks to the specially designed optical filter the PQS 1 responds the same as plants to visible light of wavelengths between 400 and 700 nm.

Data storage and analysis
The Communication Module in the mobile stand receives the data from the sensors and then transmits it to the data server. A growth model for grass analyses the stored data. It shows:

  • the current condition of the grass;
  • the growth forecast;
  • and the actions needed to optimise the grass quality

The humidity sensors monitor when and how much water the grass needs. The PAR and temperature sensors determine if artificial light should be provided. Physically, economically and environmentally, it is important to only provide artificial light when the grass needs it.

The Grass Analyser is part of the SGL Concept, a revolutionary grass growing technique that is used in more than 30 stadiums across the world; in Australia, Germany, Greece, Ireland, The Netherlands, Russia, Spain and the United Kingdom.

Hopefully, the best quality grass will lead to more entertaining soccer matches being played!

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