ADVANCING EARTH OBSERVATION APPLICATIONS IN AGRICULTURE: DEVELOPING WALL-TO-WALL DATA PRODUCTS TO IMPROVE ENVIRONMENTAL COMPLIANCE

Evaluating the uncertainty of remote sensing data products, to recognize crop types for compliance, estimate soil moisture extremes and identify productivity indicators.

PROJECT SUMMARY

START DATE:

Thursday, September 1, 2016 - 17:15

DURATION:

2 years

PROJECT LEADER:

FUNDERS:

  • BEIS
  • NERC

Advancing Earth Observation (EO) Application in Agriculture is an Innovate UK collaborative R&D project to develop wall-to-wall applications for EO data provided by the Sentinel missions of the European Space Agency’s (ESA) Copernicus Program. The project is part of the government’s innovation program under the Dept. for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS).

The overall objective is to derive information on environmental compliance and monitoring productivity in agriculture. The R&D project, which is led by Ecometrica, Edinburgh, brings together the UK’s leading experts on agriculture and remote sensing, with partners at Rothamsted Research, Environment Systems and Ecometrica. Research & Development will exploit the high frequency data available from Sentinel-1 and -2 to establish a data-processing pipeline to provide information for agriculture, and to develop a market for novel RS data product applications. Rothamsted’s contribution will be key to the quality assurance and development of biophysically meaningful indicators to delineate productive from marginal land.

DETAIL

The project has three work packages to build a real-time data pipeline from Satellite-2-AgMarket based on “free” high frequency Sentinel data (S1 Synthetic Aperture Radar and S2 Multi-Spectral Optical).

Work Package 1: High-volume data processing and upload (Led by Environment Systems Ltd) 

  • Develop processing algorithms for handling high frequency and high volume EO data. 
  • Deliver time-series layer for contiguous areas of the main agricultural regions in the UK. 
  • Identify crops and crop and soil productivity indicators.

Work Package 2: Calibration and Validation of EO Products (led by Rothamsted Research)

  • Gather ground truth to deliver compliance data (crop recognition) and soil and crop quality indicators from high frequency and high resolution satellite data (Sentinel-1/-2 missions). 
  • Implement algorithms for the retrieval of soil moisture and crop productivity using RS data.
  • Assess inter-/intra-field spatial variability of agri-environmental indicators to quantify uncertainty and suitability of RS products.

Work Package 3: Commercialisation and Market development (led by Ecometrica)

  • Match potential user requirements with intermediate data products that can be delivered using the Ecometrica EO-Lab infrastructure.
  • Setup frameworks that can evolve in a modular way, starting with anchor tenants for products that represent “easy wins” i.e. low cost, easy to deliver products – and 
  • Build more complex and demanding products for commercial purposes.

COLLABORATORS

Ecometrica - Dr Richard Tipper (Project Leader); Sarah Middlemiss (Project manager); Veronique Morel (Head of Earth Observation & Mapping; RS and GIS analyst); Ryan Elfman (Programmer and Ecologist)

Environment SystemSteve Keyworth (Director of Environment Systems); Dr Iain Cameron (Data Analyst) 

RESOURCES

Field work and Instrumentations: 

Delta-T SunScan, FieldScout TDR 300, Garmin GPS 72H; Delta-T Meteorological stations

Models: 

Process-based modelling and up-scaling

Stamina (modelling framework to simulate arable systems in hilly landscapes), 

Agremosa (weblink to be developed) – system of process-based models simulating arable and perennial crops, grassland, biomass crops

Databases: 

Soil map and soil scapes - http://www.landis.org.uk/soilscapes/

Land cover map - http://www.ceh.ac.uk/services/land-cover-map-2007 

Agricultural and Horticultural Development Board (AHDB) for cereals - https://cereals.ahdb.org.uk/

SOYL Precision Farming - https://www.soyl.com/

soylscan - https://www.soyl.com/index.php/services/soyl-scan

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