SQAT - Soil Quality Analysis Tool: Implementing Smart Farming Applications using EO Data, Soil Sensors & Robotics
Background & Objectives
Digitalisation, robotics, and smart algorithms have brought the data economy to the farm. However, farms face large societal pressures related to soil: cleaner water, healthier soils, improved carbon storage and increase in biodiversity. A better understanding of the variability of soil properties and quality is needed, with current market solutions being too expensive and not well suited to farmer needs. SQAT's smart soil mapping service is a multi-level, multi-technology and multi-purpose solution.
With a keen eye on markets and users, SQAT’s approach is designed to overcome today’s practical, technical and financial challenges to generate high resolution soil properties maps – and demand-driven products like application maps for soil improvement or crop management, or compliancy proof for eco schemes. Our vision is that the integration of different technologies provides a flexible and agile service beating the unbundled alternatives that are now in the market: our in-situ sampling and/or sensoring is wrapped in a Copernicus-based artificial intelligence soil mapping product. In the field, our autonomous robot-mounted sensor toolbox includes VIS-NIR sensors, automated sampler drill and penetrometer, and a novel chamber for in situ wet chemical soil analysis (Lab in the Field).
Overall, the system increases the productivity and reduces laboratory/labour costs compared to current approaches. Using resulting maps, SQAT co-develops, tests and validates 5 smart farming applications to deliver value to farmers: Variable rate liming/fertilisation/seeding, Variable depth tillage, & Carbon farming MRV. We include 7 SMEs from across the SQAT data value chain to lead co-development in 7 use cases across The results will be commercialised by project end courtesy of a pro-active market focus, that aims to engage and Europe. onboard users in the use case locations, as well as other agri-service providers to develop their own SQAT-enabled smart farming applicatications.