Soil moisture sensing—reinvented
In the field, soil moisture accuracy can make or break a study. But accuracy is about more than just the sensor. It’s about eliminating anything that confounds the data. That’s why we’ve completely reinvented not just our sensor, but the entire soil moisture sensor experience. Introducing the new TEROS 12.
Pushes past traditional boundaries
For 20 years, our experts have worked on achieving the highest possible accuracy spec. Now we’ve turned our attention to something nobody else is thinking about—the accuracy of the entire system. The new TEROS 12 sensor is more than just a sensor. It’s a complete soil moisture system that treats the whole accuracy problem, rather than just one part of it, by eliminating common problems that cause uncertainty in the data—things like sensor-to-sensor variability, air gaps, or preferential flow. No other soil moisture system on the market addresses these issues.
Sensor to sensor variability—solved
Accuracy is only as good as a sensor’s consistency. And if you’re calibrating every sensor individually, errors can occur, especially when you’re installing hundreds of sensors. The TEROS 12 uses a completely new calibration procedure that maximizes accuracy and minimizes sensor-to-sensor variability, while keeping the TEROS 12 cost reasonable. So you can be confident that every sensor you install is going to read exactly like the next one.
Accurately characterizing soil moisture variability demands a large volume of influence. The TEROS 12 delivers the best volume of influence to sensor size on the market. We’ve optimized the circuitry in this 9.4-cm sensor to deliver an incredible one-liter volume of influence (versus the 200 mL typical for most sensors). Most soil sensors that measure this much volume are 20 cm or longer, causing installation headaches. Not only that, we’ve positioned a temperature sensor perfectly inside the middle needle so the needles are robust, yet extremely sensitive to soil temperature change. These high-quality stainless steel needles slip easily into even hardened soils, and a durable epoxy fill means the sensor lasts up to 10 years in the field.
Everything comes down to installation, in terms of accuracy. If installation is poor, it doesn’t matter how good the calibration is, your data will be bad. The new TEROS Borehole Installation Tool mistake-proofs installation. The tool and sensor were designed as a unit to fit down a 4-inch diameter hand-augered hole. This delivers consistent, flawless installation into any soil type (even hard clay) while minimizing site disturbance. Sensors are installed straight in and perpendicular with uniform pressure then gently released to prevent air gaps.
TEROS offers an excellent way to measure the soil profile. Major advantages: install into undisturbed soil instead of a slurry, at depths you choose, without creating the preferential flow issues that plague traditional profile sensors. The TEROS Borehole Installation Tool can install sensors at borehole depths up to 1.8 meters.
Seamless data collection—mastered
Easy and reliable data collection is part of the TEROS 12 experience. Combine the TEROS 12 with the new ZL6, where all data are connected and delivered through the cloud. So all you have to do is sit back and let the data flow.
Why not have it all?
Traditional soil moisture sensors miss the forest for the trees. The new TEROS 12 goes beyond merely optimizing the reading to optimize the accuracy of the whole data set. It combines consistent, flawless installation, minimal sensor-to-sensor variability, and a large volume of influence to deliver performance, accuracy, and reliability at a price you can afford.
With the release of the TEROS 12, it is now our unanimous recommendation for every application.
- Increased volume of influence (1010 mL)
- Easy installation (minimizes air gaps for cleaner readings)
- New fast electrical conductivity method for improved EC measurements
- Thermistor embedded in the center needle
- Repeatability can be checked with an accuracy verification standard
- Robust, epoxy body for tough field conditions
- Minimizes salinity and textural effects by using 70 MHz frequency capacitance technology
- Steel needles cut through the soil for better soil-sensor contact
- Easy-to-read voltage output for various data loggers
- Ferrite core eliminates cable noise
|Volumetric water content (VWC)|
|Dielectric measurement frequency|
Range: −40 to 60 °C
|Bulk electrical conductivity (ECb)|
Range: 0 to 20 dS/m (bulk)
DDI serial or SDI-12 communications protocol
|Data logger compatibility|
METER ZL6, EM60, and Em50 data loggers or any data acquisition system capable of 4.0- to 15-VDC power and serial or SDI-12 communication (see compatibility chart)
Length: 9.4 cm (3.70 in)
5.5 cm (2.17 in)
5 m (standard)
3.5-mm stereo plug connector or stripped and tinned wires
|ELECTRICAL AND TIMING CHARACTERISTICS|
|Supply voltage (VCC) to GND|
Minimum: 4.0 VDC
|Digital input voltage (logic high)|
Minimum: 2.8 V
|Digital input voltage (logic low)|
Minimum: –0.3 V
|Digital output voltage (logic high)|
|Power line slew rate|
Minimum: 1.0 V/ms
|Current drain (during 25-ms measurement)|
Minimum: 3.0 mA
|Current drain (while asleep)|
|Operating temperature range|
Minimum: –40 °C
|Power up time (DDI serial)|
Minimum: 80 ms
|Power up time (SDI-12)|
Minimum: 25 ms
Manufactured under ISO 9001:2015
California requires the following notice:
⚠️ WARNING: This product may contain chemicals including ethylene glycol, lead, nickel, styrene and cadmium, which are known to the State of California to cause cancer, birth defects or other reproductive harm. For more information, go to www.P65Warnings.ca.gov
Have a question or problem? Our support team can help.
We manufacture, test, calibrate, and repair every instrument in-house. Our scientists and technicians use the instruments every day in our product testing lab. No matter what your question is, we have someone who can help you answer it.
Phone Europe: +49 89 12 66 52 0