Objectives of the service
The objectives of Aquafarm are to provide customers with easy access to information on crop development through a simple API and user-friendly visualization tools. Customers can also try products immediately using the prepared visualization tools. Aquafarm has the capability to ingest customers' defined polygons, allowing for customized analysis and monitoring.
Aquafarm integrates data from various sources such as satellite imagery, meteorological models, meteorological measurements, and plant growth models. By combining these data sources, Aquafarm generates modelling results and insights about plant growth and soil conditions. The platform has versatile interfaces for input and output, enabling the management of different models and data. Aquafarm is accessible worldwide and can be connected to locally collected data, enhancing its versatility and adaptability. It leverages historical production data to improve its forecasting capabilities. Additionally, Aquafarm is being utilized by other platforms that distribute information to farmers, further extending its reach and impact.
Users and their needs
Aquafarm provides to the needs of water managers, governments, and farmers associations. By providing access to data and models with low maintenance costs and high durability, Aquafarm supports these users in improving the agricultural value chain. Users can monitor water usage and crop growth, enabling proactive responses to stress factors and facilitating sustainable agricultural practices. For water managers, Aquafarm assists in optimizing water resources for agriculture. Governments can continuously monitor farmers and address specific issues promptly, such as providing subsidies and support.
Aquafarm serves several users, each with their specific needs and requirements. Let's take a closer look at each user and the needs Aquafarm addresses for them:
IFAP (National institute):
IFAP's main goal is to validate and fund the implementation of measures in agriculture, rural development, fisheries, and related sectors. Aquafarm addresses IFAP's need for remote monitoring of crop development using satellite imagery. This helps IFAP ensure the accuracy of farmers' declarations, which can impact the allocation of subsidies. Aquafarm proposes a crop identification system for each growing parcel, enabling IFAP to monitor and assess the accuracy of declarations. This service helps IFAP identify farms that require on-site inspections, reducing the risk of incorrect subsidy allocation.
Wisecrop (Service provider to farmers):
Wisecrop is a startup that offers an online operating system tailored to agricultural producers. Aquafarm integrates with Wisecrop's platform by providing an NDVI (Normalized Difference Vegetation Index) service. Aquafarm utilizes daily updated satellite images to generate NDVI data, which provides valuable insights to farmers. By offering this service, Wisecrop aims to provide an affordable alternative to expensive equipment for farmers, enhancing their monitoring capabilities and supporting their activities such as irrigation schedules, pest alerts, and weather alerts.
EDIA (Water managers):
EDIA is interested in crop detection and providing advice to farmers regarding irrigation. Aquafarm's capabilities align with EDIA's needs by offering crop monitoring and insights into water demand. By monitoring crops and understanding irrigation requirements, EDIA can estimate future water requirements more accurately. Aquafarm's services enable EDIA to make informed decisions about water management and irrigation practices, promoting efficient water usage in agriculture.
Aquafarm has secured a contract with a consortium of companies working on the Watersense project for NSW-DPE. Aquafarm's HydroAquafarm module provides support for monitoring water-related aspects, potentially aiding in optimizing water usage and promoting sustainable practices.
Aquafarm's services provide to the different needs of these users, including monitoring crop development, verifying crop declarations, providing valuable data and insights to farmers, optimizing irrigation practices, and supporting water management initiatives. The specific services and functionalities provided by Aquafarm, as mentioned in the provided text, include area coverage, data connections and workflows, incorporating users data, and additional functionality such as new timeseries, revised charts, and CSV exports.
Service/ system concept
Aquafarm is a platform that integrates remote sensing techniques, satellite data, meteorological models, and local measurements to provide real-time insights into crop growth, water usage, and environmental conditions. It utilizes advanced numerical modelling, satellite imagery, and data integration to generate accurate modelling and forecasting results. Aquafarm offers three modules: HydroAquafarm, CropAquafarm, and SoilAquafarm, each addressing specific aspects of water balance, crop monitoring, and soil characterization. The platform transitioned to a service-based model, providing its functionalities to interested parties, and offers Aquafarm-Specific Services focused on water management, crop monitoring, environmental conditions, decision support, and sustainable agriculture practices.
Space Added Value
The space added value Aquafarm, lies in its utilization of satellite data, particularly from the Sentinel-2 mission. Sentinel-2 optical data plays a crucial role in the system by enabling remote monitoring of vegetation. This data is utilized in the Satellite Processing Block of Aquafarm to retrieve and process information such as biophysical vegetation status indicators, dynamic cropland masks, and cultivated crop types.
It is worth noting that while the current version of Aquafarm primarily relies on Sentinel-2 optical data, the system has the potential to expand and incorporate more detailed satellite data in the future. This adaptability and scalability further contribute to the space added value of Aquafarm.
Aquafarm has evolved from a kick-start activity supported by ESA to a comprehensive platform with multiple modules and services. It has successfully conducted a pilot stage, establishing contracts with users like IFAP and attracting new users through the successful demonstration of Aquafarm in users like Wisecrop and EDIA. Aquafarm 2.0 is the latest version of the platform, incorporating advanced technologies and models for water balance, crop monitoring, and soil characterization. It has demonstrated its effectiveness in optimizing water resources, improving crop management, and supporting sustainable agriculture practices. Aquafarm's success has also attracted the attention of other organizations, such as the NSW Department of Planning and Environment, leading to further collaborations and pilot projects.