Australia’s leading space research centre, the SmartSat Cooperative Research Centre (CRC), has launched a new program to develop national Earth Observation (EO) capabilities with space sensor technology in the hopes of advancing the agriculture industry.

Named ‘Maya Nula’ – which translates to “eyes here, there, everywhere” in Dharug language – the research project aims to create agricultural intelligence from space to support the need from Australian farmers to reduce risk and boost productivity through environmentally friendly processes.

SmartSat CRC CEO, Professor Andy Koronios, explained development of this technology could assist with processes such as monitoring crops and forming more sophisticated prediction models to guide commercial outcomes and protect the environment.

“Through enhanced agricultural intelligence using terrestrial and space technologies, Maya Nula will enable farmers to deliver higher yields of healthy food, meeting our needs and increasing exports of our agricultural products,” said Professor Koronios.

“By integrating climate resilience and supply provenance practices into farming, Maya Nula can help Australian farmers adapt to changing weather conditions, minimise crop failures, ensure a stable food supply, higher efficiency and maintenance of profits and maintain market access.”

Maya Nula Research Program Lead and SmartSat Principal Scientist in EO, Dr Jasmine Muir, said this program will be a needed and worthwhile investment for the security and prosperity of Australia’s farming future.

“As we look to safeguard and enhance Australia’s agriculture sector for the coming years, sovereign space-based monitoring capability is critical,” said Dr Muir.

“It is essential we start to plant the seeds of technology development now to ensure Australian agriculture is at the cutting edge in the decades ahead.”

Read the press release


Image: 4. SmartSat CRC team (L-R) Professor Roy Green, Dr Jackie Craig, Dr Michele Allen, Professor Andy Koronios, Alison Bowman, Dr Rosalind Dubs, Dr Carl Seubert, Dr Sarah Cannard, Professor Margaret Harding, Dr Jasmine Muir, Elizabeth Weeks, Mikaela Jade, Professor Kirk McKenzie and Andrew Beveridge