Wyld Networks developing IoT sensors with satellite enabled connectivity, following networking at Agriculture 101
“I attended Agriculture 101 a few years ago – it’s a fantastic opportunity to get together with early-stage agri-tech companies, and people from outside farming,” says Eric Hewitson, Business Development Manager at Wyld Networks, who was so inspired by the event that he joined Agri-TechE as a member and will be exhibiting at REAP2021.
The workshop format of Agriculture 101 provides presentations by experts from different parts of the agricultural value-chain and gives a deep insight into the industry for those that are new to the sector.
There is also an opportunity to network with others and it was this that Eric found particularly beneficial.
“We just had a chat about what we do and how we can work together – to help each other with that ‘other bit’ that complements what we do.” Networking at Ag101 has achieved results and going on to engage in further Agri-TechE activities has led Wyld Networks to work with partners on a soil moisture sensor that connects to the cloud from anywhere.
Wyld Networks provides connectivity for sensors of all types and so close relationships with farming groups, sensor developers and large multi-national agribusinesses are vital to ensure the solutions meet the requirements of growers and are compatible with other equipment they may have already.
Eric explains that the new generation of low earth orbit (LEO) satellites will very soon provide near global connectivity, and this will offer a huge opportunity to deploy sensors in remote areas – such as the fens – where there is little cellular coverage.
“Most agricultural land currently lies on the 85% of the earth that doesn’t have cellular connectivity,” he explains.
“In the UK if farmers want to use a sensor and transmit data to the cloud for analysis, they may have to install a wireless (LoRaWAN) network on the farm. However, they will still need to have access to broadband or mobile data. As well as sensors, additional costly infrastructure in the form of gateways is required which rely online of sight between sensor and gateway. Such a network requires significant power and the whole network needs to be installed and managed yourself – so a huge investment of time and hardware.”
“Wyld Networks have developed connectivity solutions that send connect data directly to LEO satellites – low cost, low energy and minimal investment. We are looking forward to talking about this at REAP 2021.”
The LEO satellites pass overhead daily – an array of 24 of these nano-satellites would give hourly data coverage. This amount of readily available, low-cost data suddenly opens the doors for a range of applications and opportunities for sensor developers and their customers.
As Eric found, attendance at Agriculture 101 might be one of the best investments you make this year.
Agriculture 101 – Thursday 9th September @ 9:30 am – 3:30 pm
The unique one-day introduction provides some insights into the agriculture sector, the opportunities it presents and some of the challenges that are still seeking solutions.
“Attending the Agriculture 101 event gave us an insight into what was a new sector for us, and it gave us the confidence to further explore applications within agri-tech. We have since embarked on several new collaborations and have really appreciated the introduction to the sector and subsequent support of Agri-TechE”
– Liz Jenkinson, CEO, Biocleave
“An impressive blend of different presentations discussing the future of farming, farming politics and the technological drivers. Exchanging knowledge and expertise”
– Agriculture 101 attendee, anonymous, 2020
REAP 2021: Changing Time(s) for Agriculture – 10th November 2021
Imagine a world where agriculture is not constrained by time. The ability to manage and manipulate time is increasing and REAP 2021 will explore the advances in technology and breakthroughs in science that is making this possible.
REAP brings together people from across the agri-tech ecosystem who believe that innovation is the engine for change. The conference bridges the gap between producer needs and technology solutions and showcases exciting agri-tech start-ups.