Adelaide-based satellite connectivity company Myriota has teamed up with Queensland agriculture technology company Goanna Ag to produce satellite connected rain gauges and tank level monitors.
That means farmers can monitor rainfall and water levels in remote tanks anywhere, without the need for internet coverage or mobile phone connectivity.
Myriota business development executive Tom Rayner said its “everywhere” communication solution was ideally suited to agriculture.
“With ground-based communications requiring capital and geographical prioritisation, there will be ‘black spots’ where data is lost, but through this collaboration with Goanna Ag, we have been able to overcome these challenges of cost and connectivity,” he said.
Goanna Ag chief operating officer Tom Dowling said the company had been working towards the solution for more than a decade.
“Thanks to our partnership with Myriota we have developed a game-changing solution that will drive on-farm efficiencies – particularly around water management and optimisation,” he said.
“Our clients know the value that comes from remote monitoring, but until now, the industry has been restricted by coverage and cost issues.”
Goanna Ag has conducted trials of a number of the rain gauges and water tank monitoring devices on farms and commercial releases is close. Each unit costs under $1,000 or combined for around $1,200.
Farmers can place pre-orders with sales expected to start in October.
Units are set to include three years of connectivity, data management and app access as standard.
Future versions of the rain gauges are expected to feature smart functionality, including point specific weather forecasting generated by the Bureau of Meteorology, aggregated and granular rainfall mapping and an initial on-the-go yield forecaster for dry-land cropping.
Myriota emerged from the University of South Australia in 2015 to commercialise research on internet of things (IoT) connectivity conducted by company founders Dr Alex Grant and Dr David Haley.
The company has developed a range of remote area connectivity solutions. For example, its water tank level monitoring system allows farmers to see water tank levels on their smartphone.
Data goers from the tank or gauge to orbiting nanosatellite and then to the cloud, and from there to the farmer. Although other satellite operators can provide this type of service, Myriota said it can do it far cheaper.
Myriota’s nano-satellite was launched on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket in December last year.
Myriota uses exactEarth’s Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellite constellation, launched on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket in December, for its connectivity.
Goanna Ag is based in Goodiwindi, Queensland and emerged from the innovation of former local agronomist Tom Dowling founded Goanna Telemetry in 2001.
Last year, Goanna Telemetry merged with Discovery Ag to form Goanna Ag, developing farm sensors, including weather stations and soil moisture probes to provide growers with data to improve water use efficiency.
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