Vegetation monitoring based on satellite and RPAS data for farmers

In 2018, almost 480 000 tons of pesticides were sold in Europe while the EU aims to halve the use of pesticides by 2030. The ESA-supported BIOSCOPE project uses EO and satellite navigation (GNSS and EGNOS) to help farm managers monitor their crops and efficiently use fertiliser and crop protection agents.

Source: FAO

Farm managers need efficient and objective means to monitor their crops, to evaluate the outcome of field operations and plan how much and where to apply fertiliser and crop protection agents. For monitoring crop status, farmers can use high resolution images at specific times during the growth season. Bioscope will set up a reliable service of vegetation monitoring based on the integrated use of satellites and Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS). The objective of this project is to start up a fast, flexible, timely and reliable service that delivers relevant information with an advice to the farmer. For this purpose, BIOSCOPE chooses an appropriate mix of satellite and drone image acquisitions, to best meet the customer's requirements (e.g. timing, and resolution) based on satellite availability and weather condition. Thereby the service will foster a wider use of satellite imagery with a key role for data from the Copernicus Sentinel-2 mission. The BIOSCOPE service provides the complete chain from the satellite to the machinery that performs the task in the field. The remote sensing information is integrated in the standard agricultural processes as well as the standard agricultural software, guaranteeing ease of use for the farmer. Using standard data protocols to deliver the data from the BIOSCOPE service to the farm management systems will guarantee a significant level of acceptance among the farming community. BIOSCOPE makes use of Earth observation for the service itself and satellite navigation (GNSS) and EGNOS for auto guidance of the drone and registration of the position where images are taken. This information is also of great importance for geo-referencing and further processing of the data. Satellite Navigation is also used to deploy the services outputs (e.g. task maps) in the field.

Land Management
Demonstration Project
Olivier Becu