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Innovators descend on Tasmania to trial precision farming technology

Fleet + UTAS pilot project. Image courtesy of Leading Agriculture

Fleet Space Technologies and UTAS descend on Tasmania to trial precision farming technology.

Global nanosatellite startup Fleet Space Technologies has joined forces with innovators at the University of Tasmania (UTAS) in the world of big data, sensors and space technology to trial their first local precision farming project, set to revolutionise the global agriculture industry.

A partnership between the UTAS’ Industrial Transformation Research Hub, Pathways to Market and Sense-T, and Fleet Space Technologies is underway in the remote town of Hamilton Tasmania. The first of its kind telemetry project will monitor farm temperatures and soil moisture, comparing data captured via ground sensors relayed through LoRa networks, and data captured via satellites.

The project aims to give Fleet engineers and UTAS researchers ultra-granular data forming insights into the challenges facing the Australian agriculture industry. The insights will inform ambitious plans for industry transformation that will see world-class technology increase operational efficiency, yields and supply chain outcomes.

“Working with experts in precision farming like Sense-T will help test advanced technologies to deliver learnings about the scale and impact that precision farming can have for farmers both here in Australia, and globally,” says Flavia Tata Nardini, CEO of Fleet Space Technologies.

“Over 61% of Australia’s land mass is owned by farmers and the implications of operating in remote, often harsh, conditions throws up challenges that require urgent attention.”

Associate Professor Laurie Bonney, Director of Pathways to Market says: “As our global population continues to grow exponentially, we’re facing huge challenges in keeping up with the rate of food production and resource depletion. This project is a critical step forward to precisely monitor every step in our food supply chain, to ultimately increase global production efficiencies.”

”From the farm, producers will be able to collect precise data to drive environmentally sustainable practices with novel sensing techniques and smart applications to easily report on animals, crops and environmental performance.”

Pathways to Market and Sense-T are working to understand the challenges of transmitting data from remote area farms and supply chains into the Cloud, while providing producers and processors with new analytical tools for decision-making, and in doing so, addresses key issues initiated within Pathways to Market’s suite of projects.

“The agriculture and food production industries operate in a highly competitive global market, if there’s an inefficiency at any stage of the food supply chain it affects the whole chain, and ultimately impacts consumers. Producers are now looking towards innovative technologies to solve key challenges and remain competitive,” said Associate Professor Stephen Cahoon, Director of Sense-T.

The Hamilton Telemetry Pilot, is driven by three essential outputs; powering local food industry competitiveness, encouraging environmental sustainability, and fostering innovation in food chains from producers through to end consumers.

“The untapped potential of Internet of Things (IoT) devices in transforming the global agriculture industry at a macro and micro level is astonishing. But the remote nature of farming means that right now there’s a severe limitation in the number of devices that can connect to the internet” says Tata Nardini.

Source: Leading Agriculture

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