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30 April 2015
Defence and Space

Airbus Defense and Space Enters the Field of Precision Farming with Pléiades Satellites in the U.S.

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Summary

- Airbus Defense and Space and the J.R. Simplot Company will work together on a project to support more sustainable farming practices - Simplot will use Pléiades satellite very high-resolution data to monitor its crops and generate an accurate agronomical database

Airbus Defense and Space and Simplot are launching a project to deliver Pléiades very high-resolution satellite imagery to Simplot customers. In the United States, Simplot will monitor fields distributed over several states during the growing season. This imagery will be acquired at key crop growth stages, and will be assessed for in-season adjustments.

Satellite imagery provided during the growing season will allow Simplot to collect reliable data on crop conditions, and pinpoint variations that could be related to specific pest, nutrition or water issues. Thanks to Pléiades acquisition capacity, Simplot will be able to cover its entire geographic footprint to create a precise and detailed database. This advanced mapping will enable Simplot to provide growers with crop change detection analysis, and estimate the possible impacts this may have on yield.

As a result, it will be possible for Simplot to diagnose crop issues, through field comparisons, allowing Simplot to guide crop production management and optimization decisions in real time. Factors such as seed density, fertilizer, water and other inputs will be adjusted on a sub-field level with pinpoint accuracy. “The Pléiades images collected at key crop stages will fully support more sustainable farming practices while saving time and cutting costs,” stated Allan Fetters, Director of Technology for Simplot Grower Solutions.

Airbus Defense and Space relies upon twin satellites, Pléiades 1A and 1B, that operate as a constellation in the same orbit, phased 180 degrees apart and deliver very high-resolution optical data products in record time, offering a daily revisit capability to any point on the globe.

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Fabienne Grazzini

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