Two powerful trends – the Internet of Things (IoT) and data analytics – are generating lots of press for their industrial and infrastructure applications, writes Rich Quinnell for EE Times. But there is another application space that is quietly gaining momentum in the application of these technologies: food production. Farmers are improving yields, reducing loss, and reducing cost by making more targeted use of resources such as fertilizers and water. The starting point for precision agriculture is data, which sensors and wireless networking play key roles in gathering.
There are essentially three platform types involved in precision agriculture: aerial, ground-based mobile, and stationary systems. The sensors and network technology the platform types tend to utilize do vary, although there is also some overlap. One thing the platforms share, though, is tremendous diversity in feature sets of the many competing products addressing this application space.