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Sen4CAP to support satellite crop monitoring

Modern agriculture requires support from new technologies. In order to meet these needs, CloudFerro has brought the new solution Sen4CAP to the CREODIAS.EU platform. It is dedicated to agricultural monitoring based on satellite images.

As part of its development policy, the European Union supports individual market sectors. In the case of agriculture, this support includes ensuring access to satellite images that make it possible to monitor and manage crops, as well as to optimize agricultural production. A new monitoring concept aiming to control how support funds under the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) are spent, replaces the current model based on random verification of crop samples with a full assessment based on frequent high-resolution imagery from satellites and appropriate follow up measures.

Ready solution, fast implementation

CloudFerro, which is the operator of the CREODIAS cloud computing, has launched a solution known as Sen4CAP (Sentinels for Common Agricultural Policy) addressed to the users of its platform.

“In response to the need for satellite images for modern agriculture, we have implemented the Sen4CAP solution on our CREODIAS.EU platform. It is an open source application that we offer as a SaaS (Software as a Service), dedicated specifically to agricultural monitoring and designed to work in the cloud environment,” says Marcin Białecki, Product Manager, CloudFerro. “The users of our DIAS platform can now directly access a complete repository of satellite data with application in agricultural business while harnessing the processing capabilities of the computing cloud, which significantly shortens the time needed to launch the solution and obtain results,” Marcin Białecki adds.

This is yet another step in popularizing the use of satellite images in agriculture, which according to the latest report of the European Court of Auditors, an EU institution dealing with control over the implementation of the European budget, remains far from common. The recently published report says that although the European Commission has been significantly focusing on the use of new imaging technologies in agricultural monitoring, these are still used to a fairly limited degree, despite the fact that satellite imaging is emerging as currently the best method of monitoring crops and supporting the management of the EU’s common agricultural policy.

Court of Auditors recommends satellite imaging

In recent years, the EU has been promoting the use of satellite data to determine the amount of direct funds for farmers. In October 2018, the European Space Agency and the European Commission launched a project to encourage the member states to use Sentinel-1 and Sentinel-2 satellite images made available on Data and Information Access System (DIAS) platforms to a greater extent.

Spanish agricultural paying agencies already have some experience using the CREODIAS platform to monitor crops. The platform provides access to high-resolution images from Sentinel-1 and -2 sensors, as well as processing power and a repository for data for further analysis.

“As the operator of the CREODIAS platform, in recent months we have been actively supporting the use of satellite data by European, including Spanish, paying agencies” says Przemysław Mujta, technical sales support manager, CloudFerro. “By the end of 2019, we had delivered the total of more than 32,000 images, and we were making it possible to store and process crop monitoring data. All agencies involved in the project used the computing cloud on the CREODIAS platform. The project proved that DIAS platforms and their resources are excellent tools for the monitoring of the common agricultural policy. Automated land evaluation using tools based on high-quality images taken from space, available almost in real time, provides agencies with access to up-to-date information and enables them to take immediate actions. This saves time and money, and makes it possible to extend control to all crops.” adds Przemysław Mujta.

Now, for agricultural agencies using the Sen4CAP solution, the use of satellite data will be even easier and faster.