Adelaide-based Fleet Space technologies has partned with the University of Tasmania entities Sense-T and Pathways to Market to conduct a unique precision agriculture trial in Hamilton, Tasmania.
The pilot project also involves the Industrial Transformation Research Hub at the University of Tasmania (UTAS) and is taking place on a rural farm, deploying just under 50 sensors aims to monitor farm temperatures and soil moisture.
Known as the Hamilton Telemetry Pilot, the project aims to provide three outputs; improving local food industry competitiveness, encouraging environmental sustainability, and fostering innovation in food chains from producers to end consumers.
The trial will test how LoRa sensors connected to Sense-T’s 4G LTE network perform, comparative to Fleet’s sensors relaying data through its satellite modem, Fleet Portal, and connecting to satellites orbiting Earth.
The project will collect highly granular data, intended to allow Fleet engineers and UTAS researchers to form insights into the challenges facing the Australian agriculture industry.
Fleet CEO Flavia Tata-Nardini says that these can be used to inform plans for industry transformation that will see cutting-edge sensor and satellite technology increase operational efficiency, yields and supply chain outcomes.
“Over 61 percent 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,” she said.
“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.”
Tata-Nardini said that the while the scope of the control in the pilot was small, UTAS researchers will use the outputted datasets to further develop their sensor technologies, and Fleet will use them to further refine their own product offering — both of which hold great potential.
“For this specific project, we are only analysing soil moisture and farm temperatures across traditional and space networks,” she said.
“However, the future possibilities of the technology are endless, as farmers will now be equipped with ultra-granular data to make informed decisions at the right time.”
To hear more from about Tarta-Nardini, you can catch her keynote address on Tuesday morning at next week’s GeoSmart Asia ’18 & Locate ’18 Conference in Adelaide.