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Concentrating on the needs of agriculture and horticulture for increasing productivity, efficiency and the challenge of future food security, the Interest Group seeks to provide a forum for understanding and exploiting quality-assured measurement, sensors and actuators.
Sensor and associated actuator capability, measurement and data management are key to increasing and sustaining primary food production. They are also key to meeting the challenge of future food security, the associated needs for environmental protection and the demands for more efficient and effective use of resources. 'Precision' is the watchword for developments, wherein sensors and measurement are fundamental and associated principles are fuelling a paradigm shift in arable and livestock farming. Similarly, in horticulture where sensing, actuation and environmental control are fuelling a comparable paradigm shift.
Rapid advances in scientific understanding of biological systems, coupled with developments in materials and technologies are yielding modern sensors that are more precise, more accurate, consume less energy, are smaller in size and weight and often less expensive than earlier counterparts. New sensor modalities, multi-platform sensors, wireless sensors and sensor networks, integrated sensors and sensors that exhibit a degree of intelligence are also part of this growth in technology. Just keeping pace with developments is difficult enough, being able to take advantage of these developments and exploit them commercially is even more difficult, especially when faced with a myriad of features, factors, legislation and a sheer abundance of products. While this becomes more of a competitive consideration for product developers and systems integrators, farmers and horticulturalists are part of the competitive equation and have an important say and role to play in applying new technology that provides sensor and measurement capability. They are also important in influencing the economics of such developments and national aspects of competiveness.
At the 'grass-roots' level a need can be seen for activities and events that present, consider and promote appropriate existing market and near market sensor and actuator technologies and address the issues, including standards and legislation that relate to these technologies and applications in agriculture and horticulture. The Sensors and Measurement Interest Group is a forum that seeks to address these market and near market issues, and with an emphasis upon the practical and economic benefits that they could generate, and to collectively address issues concerning the development and application of sensors and measurement in agriculture and horticulture.
The Sensors and Measurements interest group is supported by Satellite Applications Catapult