Irrigation Equipment Research and Development Laboratory / LERMI

Short description:

Irrigation Equipment Research and Development Laboratory / LERMI

Major research issues/sites:

Analysis of irrigation equipment and irrigation systems performance, and how these equipments are used for irrigation in real operating and climate conditions, and namely:

  • Design of test protocols which may become standards
  • Software to analyse the functioning of sprinkler irrigation machines and systems in real climate conditions, subsequently used to simulate irrigation practices on a farm and by extension a small region
  • Design of methods to analyse droplet distribution of a sprinkler and its consequences on irrigation performance (sensitivity to wind and evaporation) and further estimation of hazards when irrigating with treated effluents
  • Modelling the propagation of an irrigation gun jet in the air and its atomisation
  • Understanding the drivers of clogging in microirrigation systems: case of mineral particles, development of biofilm under shear stress conditions in drippers flow path
  •  Defining limits to the use of irrigation equipment when reusing wastewater.

Short technical description:

Test benches for sprinkler and drip systems, etc. - particle size in spray, PIV-PTV, etc.

In details:

  • Test benches for carrying out standard tests on sprinkling equipment, irrigation guns, hose reels machines, micro-irrigation pipes and emitters, all used under quality insurance systems
  • Experimental setups for research purposes. One of them relies on Laser Velocimetry principle to analyse fluid flux and particles transportation in transparent pipes or emitters, and in the case of sprinklers the size, shape and velocity of droplets in the air
  • Access to an experimental farm where a test field facility can be set up to measure the spatial distribution of water supplied to sprinklers in real climate and operating conditions over one hectare, using 400 catch cans (these tests were used in the past to calibrate a simulation model for irrigation gun water distribution in windy conditions)
  • A wide variety of sensors to assess the mechanical properties of flow both in and outside irrigation systems.

Specific features/uniqueness:

Assessment, studies, expertise and research on agricultural water use, reuse of treated wastewater, irrigation practices in situ, irrigation machines water and energy efficiency, territorial approaches to water management.

Options and conditions for visiting scientists:

Some of the facilities can be used by visiting researchers, preferably in the frame of a common project

Unit Cost of use and principles of costing:

Costs depend on the testing and measurement required

centre running the infrastructure:

INRAE - National Research Institute for Agriculture, Food and the Environment

type of facility:

Experimental facilities


  • Phone: +33 (0) 1 40 96 61 21