Tag Archives: IoT sensors

Goanna Ag uses IoT to improve water management on Australian farms

Goanna Ag launches first-of-its-kind sensors to provide water management visibility for Australian farmers

ADELAIDE, South Australia, Aug. 6, 2019 – Goanna Ag has partnered with Myriota to develop a remote monitoring, low-cost farm sensor solution for Australian farmers. The solution will tackle one of Australian agriculture’s biggest challenges: the management and optimisation of on-farm water use.

Combining Goanna Ag’s deep experience in farm sensors with Myriota’s direct-to-orbit satellite network for the Internet of Things (IoT), the partnership will unlock the power of remote monitoring at a price and scale never seen before.

Making the most of every drop of precious water is a challenge that Australian farmers have been dealing with for decades. This has been compounded by the impact of one of the worst droughts in living memory; with water management being brought into stark view across the farming community this year.

Monitoring rainfall and water storage is a critical requirement to better understand and manage what is going on across the farm. Traditionally, this monitoring has required regular trips to check rain gauges and water tank levels; a necessary evil rather than an efficient and sustainable solution.

In the past decade, remote monitoring has emerged as a far more efficient approach, but the relatively high cost of hardware and communications, complexity of data, less than robust sensors and a lack of field support has prevented widespread adoption.

Partnering with Myriota to develop an ‘everywhere’ monitoring solution for Australian agriculture, GoannaAg has deployed a small number of rain gauges and water tank monitoring devices as part of a trial on Australian farms. Now, the tried and tested solution is on the verge of commercial release with pricing and distribution currently being finalised.

The gauges’ data management and app access provide a more affordable solution than other  alternatives, with units set to include three years of connectivity, data management and app access as standard.

Future iterations of the rain gauges will see Goanna Ag integrate 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 dryland cropping.

Tom Dowling Chief Operating Officer at Goanna Ag said that the suite of products has been in development for some time.

“Our clients know the value that comes from remote monitoring, but until now, the industry has been restricted by coverage and cost issues,” Dowling said.

“We have been working toward a solution like this for over a decade, and thanks to our partnership with Myriota, have developed a game changing solution that will drive on farm efficiencies – particularly around water management and optimisation.”

Tom Dowling, Chief Operating Officer, Goanna Ag

Business Development Executive at Myriota, Tom Rayner, echoed Goanna Ag’s sentiments, saying that the partnership is already achieving strong results for farmers.

“We are able to provide an ‘everywhere’ communication solution that is ideally suited to agriculture,” Rayner said.

“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.”

Tom Rayner, Business Development Executive, Myriota

Both Myriota and Goanna Ag are in the process of expanding their respective capabilities to deliver more sensors and satellites to solve problems facing the industry where real-time insights are critical.

Goanna Ag is now taking pre-orders for their rain gauge and tank monitoring solutions, with commercial sales set for October this year.

Source: Myriota

 

Smart Sensors and Wireless Connectivity Can Provide a World-Class Waste Management Service

image2

During the holiday season, or just on busy weekends, you’ve probably gone out for a walk only to be met with overflowing trash bins. It does nothing for the ambiance. Streets marked by litter and noxious smells detract from quality of life and give a poor impression to tourists (to say nothing of the associated health hazards).

It’s an obligation for municipalities and authorities to ensure litter-free streets, of course, but balancing that necessity against increasingly squeezed budgets isn’t easy. Even wealthy cities are struggling to provide basic services, and a large town will typically spend about $15 million per year on waste collection. Ensuring an efficient waste management strategy can result in significant cost reduction—but many cities are left frustrated as they grapple with how to improve efficiency.

Wasted Resources and Intelligent Waste Management
Waste and recycling are typically collected using fixed routes and schedules, without taking into account whether bins are actually full. This can leave trash brimming over in popular commercial locations, with cities incurring additional costs since collection teams must make emergency visits to these areas, even as they waste time at low-volume sites that don’t need attention but are on the scheduled route.

Smart bin sensors and mobile connectivity offer a new way of monitoring collection sites. Sensors can be fitted to any container in a matter of seconds, allowing cities to closely monitor fill data. This monitoring is usually performed by ultrasonic technology that can automatically detect different surfaces and waste types. The collected data is then transmitted wirelessly to the cloud, where it can be used by waste management companies to not only monitor when containers need emptying but also to provide insight into popular locations and usage patterns.

This system essentially allows waste management administrators to create demand-based collection routes, increasing or decreasing collection during weekends or busy seasonal periods, for example, or altering fee scales according to usage. Some sensors can even measure internal temperatures, meaning that garbage bins approaching critical levels can be attended to.

Sensor Technology for a Smart City
Bin sensors are sometimes equipped with SIM cards, which means that they can use existing telecommunications networks to communicate with waste management companies. New sensors connected via low-power wide area technology offer a long-term, cost-effective solution.

In short, IoT sensors provide a better option for cities looking to maintain sustainable, connected growth. And despite being non-mission-critical, data from these devices is still collected in near-real-time. Drivers can receive information directly on a tablet or smart device and alter routes on the fly. So, for example, instead of visiting four bins—two of which are 90 percent full, and two of which are only 20 percent full—as would be the case on a traditional route, an optimized route would only require a visit to the two full bins. This cuts the collection route by 50 percent, resulting in significant savings in terms of fuel and driver hours.

Short-term and Long-term Benefits

Smart waste management based on this technology has reduced direct costs by up to 50 percent, and some city projects have seen a total cost reduction of up to 80 percent, including significant savings on fuel, driver hours, and equipment wear and tear, not to mention lower exhaust emissions, a reduced carbon footprint, and a cleaner, healthier environment for citizens. As each sensor is equipped with GPS tracking, the exact location of every container is always known as well, preventing lost and stolen bins, which can add up to a significant annual cost for municipalities.

Nor does it end there. Over time, data can be analyzed further, providing a benchmark for:

  • Predictive forecasting;
  • Fill level trends and history;
  • Insight into weights and volumes of trash over specified time periods; and
  • Seasonal fluctuations.

In the future, technologies may become even smarter by, say, recognizing different types of trash, thus predicting the value of recyclables at each location, or even using social media to broadcast their status, allowing citizens to choose which locations they will use when recycling.

For municipalities moving towards smart city status, such intelligent monitoring can transform waste management policies, not only reducing monetary costs and strain on time and resources, but creating a world-class environment for citizens and visitors alike.

Co-Star the UK based distributor to the ICT industry supply the full range of Sierra Wireless Gateways to make connected smart city initiatives a reality.