Ag Tech News

Ag Tech News: Agri-tech business opportunity offered by Sentinel Satellites

The recent launch of the new Sentinel satellites, part of the European Union’s ‘Copernicus’ Earth observation programme, has the potential to help farmers take precision agriculture to a new level, along with a host of other land monitoring uses. Sentinel data can be applied within agri-tech and will create a major opportunity for service providers.

"The integration of free satellite data sets from the Sentinel satellites with other datasets offers the potential for improved precision farming products and services,” said Vladimir Stoiljkovic, Business Development Manager at the Satellite Applications Catapult, who will be attending the Agri-Tech East workshop “A Sense of Place – Geomatics Meets Soil Management” on 17th May.

Sentinel includes six families of satellites, each with a different focus, and thousands of sensors in land, sea and air to help monitor our Earth. This satellite network provides data sources that could be used for precision farming, disease prediction or drought warning. It is part of the Copernicus Earth observation programme. Sentinel-1 offers radar imaging, which cuts through any cloud cover and can be used to monitor crop growth/health.

Stoiljkovic said, “The issue with satellite imaging has been the resolution. Free data is available to 10m resolution but it is now possible to purchase data with a resolution of 31cm, which can be used to evaluate crop growth. Emerging technology has shown it is possible to identify the growth stage of crops this could be extremely valuable when timing of applying fertilisers and irrigation. We have found that some of the larger grower groups are employing satellite data analysts to create these types of models.”

The Agri-Tech East Special Interest Group meeting “A Sense of Place – Geomatics Meets Soil Management” on 17th May will provide technology developers with an opportunity to meet farmers and growers and understand better how to bring a geo-spatial focus to information gathering.

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