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USER-PA: USability of Environmentally sound and Reliable techniques in Precision Agriculture - CH0202

The main objective of the USER-PA project is to develop and demonstrate an integrated and reliable Precision Agriculture management solution for orchards and vineyards considering spatial information on irrigation and harvest management by integrating autonomous mobile instrumented vehicles with a Farm Management Information System (FMIS).
The proposed project will make significant progress beyond the state-of-the-art by building upon knowledge formed in the development of existing high-tech mobile autonomous platforms and sensors during ROBOFARM, FUTUREFARM and 3D-MOSAIC. Efforts will be focused on enhancements in robustness in their autonomy within specific crop canopies under investigation. Sensors developed in the ICT-AGRI projected called 3D-MOSAIC, along with new developed sensors from this consortium will form the primary data acquisition layer. Understanding of sensing and system control from the ICT-AGRI ROBOFARM project and the FP7 FUTUREFARM project will be used to give a specification of the requirements for orchard/vineyard management. Data processing, visualisation and analysis in the form a decision support system to support crop management solutions will be built into the FMIS
The following application describes the activities of Harper Adams University (HAU) and forms part of a collaborative project funded through the EU ERANET for Information Communication Technology and Robotics (ICT-AGRI ERANET) for which Defra is funding only the UK component. An autonomous mobile sensing platform (driverless tractor) will be adapted for orchards in the UK taking into consideration the navigation requirements given special constraints from high crop canopy. The platforms that have been developed through the ROBOFARM project at HAU will be used as a basis for designing and constructing the mobile platform for this project. The SAFAR (Software Architecture for Agricultural Robots) that was developed in FutureFarm that is being further advanced in ROBOFARM by HAU will be used. Real time data acquisition will be performed wirelessly from the mobile platforms and integrated into the Management Information System. Support will be provided to the Turkish partner for construction of a small vehicle for vineyard use in Turkey
The HAU objectives are;
Objective 1. Build an autonomous mobile vehicle capable of navigating in an orchard that can carry multiple non-contact, solid state sensors to measure tree foliage health.
Objective 2. Advise and support ADU in Turkey to retrofit a small vehicle to do the same as (1) but for vineyards.
Objective 3. Integrate the sensing systems from the other partners into the vehicle and test.
Objective 4. Carry out long term tests in real world situations to understand how to make the autonomous systems more reliable safe and easy to use.
Objective 5. Collaborate with the rest of the consortia to meet the overall USER-PA aims and objectives by attending the kick off meeting in Israel, attending yearly meetings and hold regular Skype meetings to facilitate good management of the project. HAU will provide a final report to DEFRA as well as contributing to the final USER-PA consortium report.
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 2013

To: 2016

Cost: £191,583
Contractor / Funded Organisations
Harper Adams University College
Sustainable Production