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Satellite imagery and AI software to monitor vineyard health in Australia

Technology

An Australian-first agricultural artificial intelligence software has combined machine learning and high-resolution satellite imagery to provide wine industry insights into vine health.

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Geospatial Artificial Intelligence for Agriculture (GAIA) has been developed by Adelaide-based company Consilium Technology, in partnership with DigitalGlobe and Wine Australia.

The University of South Australia has also partnered with Consilium Technology for research and development into the product.

GAIA’s machine learning algorithms analyse the latest satellite images to quickly and easily provide detailed insights including assessing the impact of weather-related damage on vineyards.

It was unveiled this week at the 2018 GeoSmart Asia & Locate Conference at the Adelaide Convention Centre in the South Australian capital.

The software’s launch follows recent trials at some of Australia’s leading wine regions including Barossa Valley, Margaret River and Tasmania. GAIA’s first test will be to accurately map and identify vineyards in Australian wine regions.

Growers are expected to have access to GAIA by the next Australian growing season, which begins in September, with plans expand the software into other areas of agriculture beyond viticulture.

Director of Machine Learning at Consilium Technology Sebastien Wong, said the technology would help growers increase yields and the quality of their fruit.

He said the software would revolutionise the way small and large growers managed vineyards and also provide a more affordable way to examine vineyard crops.

“GAIA will help improve decision making and reduce risks in farming for growers,” Wong said.

“Farmers have been previously using ABS data survey methods which is hugely expensive.”

Consilium Technology is a research service provider specialising in modelling, simulation and machine learning in various field including defence, minerals and manufacturing.

The software consists of three main components including a deep neural network, scalable cloud computing and advanced satellite imagery to map vineyards across Australia and monitor wine grape crops in real time.

“We saw agriculture as a real opportunity… there’s a huge amount we can do here,” Wong said.

GAIA uses satellite imagery provided American company DigitalGlobe, a commercial vendor in space imagery and geospatial data based in Colorado.

“They have the lion share of the market and they are the largest provider of satellite imagery in the world,” he said of DigitalGlobe.

“It’s the AI that’s the groundbreaking aspect of GAIA. By automating it we can do things at scale.”

Wine Australia CEO Andreas Clark said the expertise of Consilium Technology and DigitalGlobe was very exciting for the industry.

“Moving to a technology-based solution improves accuracy and timeliness and removes a reporting burden from our grape growers,” he said.

This is a Creative Commons story from The Lead South Australia, a news service providing stories about innovation in South Australia. Please feel free to use the story in any form of media. The story sources are linked in with the copy and all contacts are willing to talk further about the story.

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