- First project announced for Global Digital Farm at Charles Sturt in Wagga Wagga
- Charles Sturt researchers will contribute to developing technology to allow tractors and trucks to become mobile Wi-Fi providers to provide long-range communication
Charles Sturt University researchers are part of a team working to convert tractors and trucks into roaming Wi-Fi devices to provide farm-wide internet coverage.
The Global Digital Farm is a partnership between the University and Food Agility Co-operative Research Centre (CRC) and will be the testing site for this project, which is a Food Agility CRC collaboration with agtech company Zetifi and researchers from Charles Sturt and the University of Technology Sydney.
The project will enable tractors and trucks to become roving Wi-Fi devices with a range of up to five kilometres via antenna arrays that can be fitted to farm equipment to provide long-range communication.
A market solution - a combination of adapted off-the-shelf and bespoke solutions - is expected to be delivered within 18 months.
Senior Research Fellow in Spatial Agriculture at the Charles Sturt Graham Centre for Agricultural Innovation Mr Jonathan Medway said focusing on connectivity was a great first project for the Global Digital Farm.
“The Global Digital Farm will develop, test and showcase the best in emerging technology for Australian farmers,” he said.
“It’s fitting that the first of many collaborations here will tackle one of agriculture’s greatest barriers to sustainability and productivity growth - connectivity.”
Food Agility Chief Scientist Professor David Lamb said the technology would enable innovation in Australian agriculture infrastructure.
“Improving connectivity for Australian farmers is the single most critical factor in driving productivity and sustainability in agriculture,” Professor Lamb said.
“This new technology will connect people and devices far beyond the farm gate and will be the backbone for the future of autonomous farming.”
The project comes in the wake of the University’s announcements that it is establishing an Agriculture, Water and Environment Institute for research, and that researchers from Charles Sturt will lead the $3.6 million Next Generation Water Engineering and River Management Hub.
These projects are the latest in almost $40 million realised this year for research and partnerships in AWE which Charles Sturt leads or is involved in, including:
- The Southern NSW Drought Resilience Adoption and Innovation Hub at Charles Sturt University in Wagga Wagga
- The planned expansion of the AgriSciences Research and Business Park (AgriPark)