Innovation That Matters

Hyperspectral imagery provides a high-resolution overview of the chemistry of the land | Photo source Wyvern

Satellite imagery helps farmers use fewer chemicals

Agriculture & Energy

The large-scale geospatial datasets provide year-round details on water retention, crop growth, and nearby wild environments

Spotted: Canadian space data company Wyvern recently received government funding to complete the launch of the company’s DragonEye satellite. Dedicated to improving environmental health by harnessing the power of satellite imagery, the company is working to complete the first use of its unfolding space cameras. DragonEye satellites use hyperspectral imaging to provide users with unparalleled detail in near-to-real time.

Hyperspectral imaging reads more than 30 colours, rather than the current standard of less than 10. The geospatial data that is gathered produces high-resolution overviews of the chemistry of the land as well as its features. The imaging reveals the presence and types of metals and building materials, while tracking the moistness of soil, crop growth, weather-related damage, and more.

Farmers can use the information to more accurately plan their fertiliser applications, estimate crop yields, and manage the grazing of pastures. With the cost of fertiliser soaring in recent months, reducing the volume of chemicals applied to fields helps both the environment and farmers’ cash flow. Gaining a better understanding of forthcoming crop yield helps teams organise transport and storage while reducing waste. Knowing where the best pasture is and what is happening with wildlife in uncultivated spaces makes it easier to plan the healthiest movement of livestock.

At Springwise we have spotted several innovations that aim to make the most of the commercial potential of space. These include reusable balloons created to reduce the cost and pollution of satellite technology, and robot factories to manufacture materials in space.

Written by: Keely Khoury



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