October 2021

We're proud to be part of one of only 5 consortia funded under the inaugural UK-Australia Space Bridge program. This exciting new collaboration between Australia and the UK is designed to foster partnerships between the two countries, and we're delighted to be working with our partners from the University of Adelaide and InterGrain to do so. Our project is an important step towards improved region-wide yield forecasting, and the incorporation of hyperspectral satellite imagery into plant breeding programmes for better crop production in increasingly challenging growing environments.

The next generation of hyperspectral satellites will deliver a step-change in the insights that will be possible from space-derived data, and benefit a huge range of detection, monitoring and prediction applications. One such application is improved yields (through plant breeding programs) and yield forecasting (through more accurate identification of crops and variety types).

Realising this potential requires a combination of both hyperspectral imagery and plant breeding expertise. To achieve this, the project will utilise the Australian Plant Phenomics Facility’s (APPF) and D-CAT’s respective hyperspectral libraries and expertise, and explore the potential of hyperspectral imagery for variety-specific classification and yield prediction of crops.

The project will capture hyperspectral field imagery of InterGrain crop trials using the APPF’s world-leading FieldExplorer, and develop remote sensing techniques for accurate measurement of plant water-soluble carbohydrates (WSC) to assist future plant breeding decisions. WSC is an important measure of plant productivity, and a metric to determine success or failure of new grain varieties. The data will also be used to simulate the characteristics of South Australia's next-generation hyperspectral satellite and to evaluate its utility for crop type and variety classification, with the potential to provide greater yield prediction accuracy.

D-CAT’s CEO, Phil Mclachlan, comments:

“ This project marks an exciting step in the evolution of the digital monitoring services D-CAT is developing across the agriculture value chain. It builds on D-CAT’s deep expertise in applying hyperspectral imagery to create ground-breaking insights and we are privileged to be working with the University of Adelaide and InterGrain to achieve the important aims of the project. The project also builds on D-CAT’s ongoing commitment and multi-year investment in working with the leading agriculture enterprises across Australia.”


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