R&D PROJECT: AGRITECH
Networked Intelligent Computing with Observation sateLlites for precision Agriculture Unified Sensing
NICOLAUS aims to merge data collected through satellite observations and locally surveyed data with the aim of creating a platform for decision support in precision agriculture.
The term “precision agriculture” refers to a business management (agricultural, forestry and zootechnical) based on the observation, measurement and response of the set of quantitative and inter-intra-field variables that intervene in the production system. This in order to define, after analysis of site-specific data, a decision support system for the entire company management, with the aim of optimizing returns with a view to an advanced sustainability of the climatic and environmental, economic, productive type and social.
The large amount of information available derives from ground monitoring networks, from remote sensing from satellite, from proximal sensing through targeted acquisition campaigns. To date, in particular, the Remote Sensing is consolidating as one of the most used tools for the study of these problems, thanks to the enormous advantages deriving from the availability of global data, and the innovations recently introduced by the European ESA missions, where they are made available to the community dataset with very accurate resolutions. A very promising scenario involves the systematic and automated processing of this information, through Machine Learning techniques, for the extrapolation of the different physical/chemical configurations of the territory, in relation to the vegetative state of the crops (vegetative indicators such as quantitative), for highlight trends and identify conceptual and forecasting models.
This is an unprecedented amount of data, which opens up new scenarios for land management and almost unexplored for specific agricultural applications.
The use of this information, abundant and in the public domain, must obviously be mediated and can not be directly exploited by a possible producer. Data processing requires specific skills that are not yet the heritage of those involved in this market sector.
Starting from the above considerations, the NICOLAUS project wants to create a web platform able to cover the entire knowledge pyramid enriched by these new data available for the precision agriculture market. The data provided through satellite observations, through local sensorisation and through information available on the web such as weather forecasts represent the database. Their transformation into prescription maps where data fusion can give information such as vegetation indices, deriving from satellite images.