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PANTHEON – Precision Agriculture For Hazelnut Orchards

PANTHEON – Precision Agriculture For Hazelnut Orchards

 

Ente finanziatore: Project PANTHEON is funded by the European Community Horizon 2020 program under grant agreement 774751

 

Multidisciplinary Consortium

 

Academic partners:

  • Robotics, Control and Big Data (UNIROMA3)
  • UAVs and Control (ULB)
  • Computer Vision (Trier)
  • Agronomy (UNITUSCIA)

Industrial partners:

  • Hazelnut Orchard Management (FERRERO)
  • Software Engineering (SIGMA)

 

 

Unità di Ricerca: UNITUS-DAFNE

Responsabile scientifico: Valerio Cristofori

Partecipanti: Leonardo Varvaro, Stefano Speranza, Cristian Silvestri

 

Durata: (4 anni: data di inizio 1/11/2017 - data di fine 30/10/2021)

 

 

Abstract

 

The vision of this project is to develop the agricultural equivalent of an industrial Supervisory Control And Data Acquisition (SCADA) system to be used for the precision farming of orchards. By taking advantage of the technological advancements in the fields of control, robotics, remote sensing, and big-data management, our objective is to design an integrated system where a relatively limited number of heterogeneous unmanned robotic components (including terrestrial and aerial robots) move within the orchard to collect data and perform typical farming operations. The information will be collected and stored in a central operative unit that will integrate the data coming from the different robotic vehicles to perform automatic feedback actions (e.g. to regulate the irrigation system) and to support the decisions of the agronomists and farmers in charge of the orchard. We expect that the proposed SCADA system will be able to acquire information at the resolution of the single plant. This will permit to drastically increase the detection of possible limiting factors for each individual plant, such as lack of water or pests and diseases affecting the plant health, and to react accordingly. Compared to the current state of the art in precision farming, we believe that the proposed SCADA infrastructure represents a relevant step ahead in the context of orchards management. In fact, the capability of monitoring the state and the evolution of each single tree will be the enabling-technology to allow more focused interventions. This will result in a better average state of health of the orchard, and in an increased effectiveness of Integrated Pest Managements (IPM). In conclusion, the proposed architecture has the potential to increase the production of the orchard while, at the same time, being more cost-effective and environmentally-friendly.

This project aims at developing a working prototype of the foreseen SCADA system able to operate in a real-world (1:1 scale) orchard. It is important to remark that, even though all orchards have several common features, the specific farming operations to be performed and the way the sensory data must be collected and processed vary considerably from species to species.

In PANtHEOn, inspired by the real needs of the consortium member FERRERO, we will focus on the management of hazelnut (Corylus avellana L.) orchards. To the best of our knowledge, a systematic approach to the precision farming of hazelnut orchards has not yet been proposed, even though hazelnut farming is economically very relevant and in constant growth around the World.

 

 

Link:  Facebook: H2020 Pantheon; @ProjectPantheon