Aston University Researcher Awarded £174,000 to Develop Cost-Effective Crop Monitoring Tech

Dr. Sergey Sergeyev, a photonics expert from Aston University, has been awarded a £174,000 industry Fellowship grant to develop cost-effective crop monitoring technology using polarimetric LIDAR, aiming to improve global food production and address food security concerns by providing farmers with accurate and timely information about crop health. The project, POLIDAR, will run from 2024 to 2025 and involves collaboration with digital farming company Fotenix to create an affordable solution for farmers to monitor crop health, including water stress and disease detection, using advanced remote sensing technology." This description focuses on the primary topic of crop monitoring technology, the main entity of Dr. Sergey Sergeyev and Aston University, the context of global food production and food security, and the significant action of developing cost-effective technology to address these concerns. The description also includes objective and relevant details about the project's goals, timeline, and collaboration, which will help an AI generate an accurate visual representation of the article's content.

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Nitish Verma
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Aston University Researcher Awarded £174,000 to Develop Cost-Effective Crop Monitoring Tech

Aston University Researcher Awarded £174,000 to Develop Cost-Effective Crop Monitoring Tech

Dr. Sergey Sergeyev, a photonics expert from Aston University's Aston Institute of Photonic Technologies (AIPT), has been awarded a £174,000 industry Fellowship grant by the Royal Society to develop cost-effective crop monitoring technology using polarimetric LIDAR. The project, called POLIDAR, aims to improve polarimetric LIDAR technology to make crop monitoring easier and cheaper for farmers in the UK and worldwide.

Why this matters: This project has the potential to significantly enhance global food production, addressing the pressing issue of food security in the face of a growing population. By providing farmers with accurate and timely information about crop health, POLIDAR can help reduce crop losses and increase yields, ultimately contributing to a more sustainable food system.

POLIDAR will run from 2024 to 2025 and seeks to provide farmers with an affordable solution to monitor crop health, including water stress and disease detection, using advanced remote sensing tech. Dr. Sergeyev stated, "My project's motivation is driven by the global and UK agenda on increased food production, requiring novel remote sensing approaches towards ICT farming."

Current polarimetric LIDAR systems are limited by low spatial resolution, slow measurement speed, and expensive components. Dr. Sergeyev's project will advance AIPT's patented technology by using a laser emitting four time-delayed pulse trains with different states of polarization. This will enable the detection of distance to plants and plant leaf texture, including water stress and pathogen infection.

"Aston University's patented technique will be modified by using a laser emitting four time-delayed pulse trains with different states of polarisation," explained Dr. Sergeyev. "Unlike state-of-the-art solutions, we suggest an all-fibre design with a minimum number of bulk components that reduces the footprint, cost and weight."

Dr. Sergeyev will collaborate with Salford-based digital and AI farming company Fotenix to develop an affordable solution for farmers. The project's outcome is expected to have a significant impact on the agricultural industry, enabling farmers to make informed decisions about crop management and increasing food production.

The announcement of the POLIDAR project coincides with the UNESCO Day of Light, which marks the role of light in science, culture, and art, education, and sustainable development. "Remote sensing is an essential tool to systematically address the challenging task of enhanced agricultural efficiency by providing real-time information about crop traits for yield estimation," Dr. Sergeyev emphasized.

Key Takeaways

  • Dr. Sergeyev awarded £174,000 grant to develop cost-effective crop monitoring tech using polarimetric LIDAR.
  • POLIDAR project aims to improve crop monitoring, reducing losses and increasing yields for global food security.
  • Advanced remote sensing tech will detect water stress and disease in crops, providing farmers with timely information.
  • Project will modify patented technology to reduce cost, weight, and footprint of polarimetric LIDAR systems.
  • Collaboration with Fotenix will develop an affordable solution for farmers, enhancing agricultural efficiency and food production.