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Agriculture

The software and hardware platform kSense can be used to analyze the efficiency of agricultural facilities (AF). The platform will enable owners and managers of agricultural facilities to have automatic control over:

  • Soil moisture, acidity and temperature;
  • Water consumption figures in artificial irrigation systems;
  • The overall condition of plants, the development of diseases and pest attacks by detecting changes in plant color;
  • Total and individual levels of fuel consumed by agricultural equipment;
  • The status of agricultural equipment;
  • The movement patterns of agricultural equipment;
  • Animal feed consumption levels;
  • The movement patterns of farm animals;
  • Employee arrival times and access to various facilities (on demand);
  • Time spent by each employee at their workstation;
  • Time spent by each employee in back rooms;
  • Greenhouse climate control;
  • Climate control in cowsheds or other livestock facilities;
  • The operating conditions of AF utility systems.

This list may be extended upon the customer's request.

The platform comprises the following equipment:

For the platform to work, the above mentioned units need to be installed on the AF premises first, after which data collection can commence, followed by its transmission to the kBrain module hosted on the server. In the absence of a local server, the data can be processed in Microsoft Azure or a similar cloud service. This requires that the facility be equipped with a communication channel that transfers data at a rate of at least 1 Mbps.
Video cameras for specified areas (work zones at production facilities, auxiliary zones, cowsheds or other facilities, outdoor video surveillance). If a video surveillance system is already in place, kSense will integrate with it and process the video stream with H.263, H.264, H.265, MPEG codecs;
The kHUB subsystem, which collects data and connects with on-site management systems;
Soil moisture sensors, soil acidity sensors, soil temperature sensors and water consumption sensors on irrigation units;
GPS-enabled interface unit to connect with mobile agricultural equipment systems;
GPS sensors for large animals, humidity sensors for facilities and greenhouses, temperature sensors (outside buildings and within the monitored areas) and light intensity sensors (these come as a set with motion sensors);
Meter interface unit for monitoring AF electricity and water consumption.

This list of sensors may be extended upon the customer's request.

The on-premise kHUB subsystem accumulates sensor data from the facility's sensors and systems, as well as video stream data, and exchanges the information with the platform's cloud components. The data is encrypted and transferred to the platform's server/cloud subsystem. A mathematical model is used to process the data and to produce a set of reference parameters, thereby finding an efficient way to improve the surveyed facility's performance.

After the data has been processed and analyzed, kHub receives the necessary reports and a set of instructions to automatically optimize the facility's power systems (if necessary).

Solution architecture:

  • kFace
  • kBrain
  • kHUB
    • Utility infrastructure
    • Agricultural facility software
    • Actuating devices
    • Sensors
    • Video cameras
    • Display

Defining the facility's power system efficiency and further development options

The facility's performance is assessed by kBrain, the platform's compute kernel which processes the data it receives from kHUB. Two embedded systems a predictive analytics system and an expert system carry out real-time data analysis and time series statistical analysis. Having analyzed the data, the movement patterns of personnel, livestock and agricultural equipment, and the resources exploited, the platform automatically performs as follows:

  • Identifies factors that prevent the facility from reaching its peak performance as a whole;
  • Maintains and controls the optimum operating conditions and environment for the utility systems and the livestock respectively, i.e. the temperature, lighting, humidity, feeding time, supplements and medicine;
  • Builds and executes an efficient resource management program (for resources such as water, electricity, fertilizers, etc.), depending on the actual data of field agricultural sensors and the condition of plants;
  • Identifies factors and tendencies that may pose a threat or may develop into a hazardous situation (e.g., disease development and pest attacks);
  • Controls and optimizes the movement patterns of animals and agricultural equipment.

To optimize staff work, the platform generates individual recommendations. The recommendations and other background information is displayed on wearable devices or on additional work zone monitors.

Presenting results.

kFace is the platform's interface subsystem. The results of the data processing are displayed via dashboards pre-grouped in kFace. The results can be easily uploaded to the facility's software-based accounting systems.

Summary

The kSense platform will help to increase AF efficiency by 20-25%, reduce water, electricity, fertilizer, etc. consumption by 10-15%, cut insurance costs by 20% by ensuring foreseeable risk levels.