New test methods for internet via satellite, a satellite-controlled steering system for tractors and a hybrid modem combining the mobile and satellite network – these are the results of the demonstration project „agriloc“, which was concluded this June.

The prototypes are now entering the product development phase. The project partners DLG, John Deere and Telespazio VEGA Deutschland have exceeded the target of the project. 

Within “agriloc”, the space company Telespazio VEGA Deutschland developed a solution for the sometimes weak or lack of internet coverage in rural areas – the prerequisite for precision farming. The result is a hybrid modem, which can send and receive data via the mobile network as well as via satellite. The modem shall be permanently installed in future in agricultural vehicles; older vehicles can be upgraded. 

The agricultural machinery manufacturer John Deere performed research on a steering system for tractors and their tools, enabling a highly precise, automated and almost autonomous and absolute position of the actuators of the mobile machine. This allows farmers to sow, fertilise or water centimetre-perfect, saving time and production costs. The new high-precision positioning technology will also be used for boom sprayers in the future. This way chemical plant protection can be optimised, the usage of pesticides is minimised and distances to protection zones are maintained perfectly. 

The Test Centre of the German Agricultural Society (DLG) developed new test methods for both prototypes. First clients have already made use of these. The test reports are available to farmers free of charge at www.dlg.org/de/landwirtschaft/tests

Osman Kalden, “agriloc” project manager, is very satisfied with the cooperation: “After four years of work, we can now present concrete results that even exceed the goals of agriloc. What originally started as a demo project went far beyond the prototype status and meets today’s hot topics in agriculture: Smart Farming, Digitisation, Broadband Expansion. We are so proud that our results can contribute to solving these issues; and thankful to the European Space Agency ESA and the German Aerospace Centre DLR for supporting the project: without agriloc those technologies would not yet be developed today.” 

About agriloc

Within the „agriloc“ project, new technologies were developed to enable centimetre-exact farming on agricultural surfaces. Satellite navigation and highly accurate correction data are the key enablers: they open up new possibilities for precision farming, for sowing, treating and harvesting individual plants. This requires a permanent connection to Internet services and correction signals, as well as an automated steering system.

agriloc is a demo project supported and co-funded under the ESA Integrated Applications Promotion (ARTES 20) Programme. https://artes-apps.esa.int.

Press contacts

Telespazio VEGA Deutschland
Alexandra Sokolowski
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Tel: +49 (0) 6151 8257-764
Mobile: +49 (0)162 21 48 175

DLG e.V.
Frank Volz
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Tel. +49 (0) 69 24788-224

Hybrid Modem developed by Telespazio VEGA Deutschland Participants of the final agriloc Workshop (f.l.t.r): (top row) Anke Freimuth, (DLR), Thomas Engel (John Deere), John Lewis (TPZV), Tony Sephton (ESA/ECSAT), Olaf Herper (TPZV), (bottom row) Ulrich Rubenschuh (DLG), Patrick Lewis (TPZV), Osman Kalden (TPZV), Jürgen Goldmann (DLG)The agriloc IAP Demonstration project

Visit the agriloc IAP website

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