Andre Nery - stock.adobe.com
The race to space in broadband connectivity has been driven by demand in so-called hard to reach places to gain the connectivity enjoyed in urban environments, and this demand is now accelerating into the internet of things (IoT) with the latest application being seen in a partnership between Wyld Networks and Agrology to enable farms to collect data in remote locations.
Founded in 2019, Agrology develops predictive agricultural technology (agritech) to help growers maximise profits with minimal input costs and environmental impact. Its predictive agriculture platform combines proprietary sensor arrays with machine learning to provide actionable insights and trends via a mobile application.
The company claims to be the first to offer a single agricultural system to mitigate, predict and address a variety of issues, including smoke taint, irrigation and climate change. The streamlined system of sensors, machine learning technology, data processing and data delivery enables farmers to micro-track their crops, receive data and make decisions. Agrology’s strategic partners include The National Science Foundation, UC Davis College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences, and Virginia Tech College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.
For its part, Wyld Connect is an IoT global connectivity network based on low-orbit satellite systems. In the partnership, the use of its technology will ensure Agrology’s ground truth sensors continue to gather data, from even the most remote locations, and deliver that data quickly to Agrology customers, regardless of connectivity status.
“IoT for agriculture presents a number of challenges, with connectivity being one of the most arduous,” said Adam Koeppel, CEO and co-founder of Agrology. “By integrating Wyld Connect into the Agrology platform we can ensure farmers will always have the real-time data they need to make important decisions.”
Adam Koeppel, Agrology
Alastair Williamson, CEO of Wyld Networks, added: “We are delighted to be working together with Agrology in the agtech sector. Only 15% of the world’s surface has access to wireless connectivity and agriculture traditionally has suffered from very poor or no wireless coverage. Agrology provides farmers with affordable, actionable data and machine learning predictions that help them plan and mitigate threats by leveraging IoT technology.
“We will continue to put together agreements ahead of the commercial launch with users, systems integrators, sensor manufacturers in agriculture, energy, utilities, transportation and logistics, as well as data analytics platform providers, to ensure we create a broad ecosystem to capture a greater customer base.”
The partnership is just the latest in a growing number of examples of satellite companies muscling in on the connectivity arena. In January 2022, satellite operator Intelsat announced that it had commissioned Thales Alenia Space to build two software-defined satellites to advance its global fabric of software-defined GEO connectivity as part of its 5G software-defined network, while renewable energy firm RWE revealed that it was using IoT over satellite technology provided by Inmarsat at its at its hydroelectric power facilities in rural Wales.
Read more about satellite IoT
- Lacuna and Semtech expand LoRaWAN IoT coverage through to satellite connectivity, collaborating to accelerate IoT adoption with what is described as affordable and simplified connectivity designed to expand further long-range, low-power comms standard.
- Japanese operator Rakuten Mobile and University of Tokyo investigate LEO satellite-based IoT as part of the National Institute of Information and Communications Technology’s Beyond 5G R&D Promotion Project.
- Leading satellite provider Inmarsat launches IoT platform to enable flexible connectivity for businesses and to support new innovations built on the platform.