London, 25 May.- SmartSat Cooperative Research Centre (CRC), an Australian space research centre, announced on the 23rd of May that they have launched a new research program: Maya Nula. This program intends to develop Australian satellite Earth Observation (EO) capability with space sensor technology to advance Australia’s agriculture industry.
The SmartSat-led initiative will facilitate innovative research projects to address the need for Australian farmers to reduce risk and boost agricultural productivity through environmentally friendly processes. It will support implementing and reporting on improved climate-resilient and sustainable farming practices.
“With the world’s population predicted to reach 9.8 billion by 2050, sustainable farming practices are essential to meet the increasing demand for high-quality food,” says Professor Andy Koronios, SmartSat CEO. “Through enhanced agricultural intelligence using terrestrial and space technologies, Maya Nula will enable our farmers to deliver higher yields of healthy food, meeting our needs and increasing exports of our agricultural products.”
SmartSat will develop a series of projects to deliver a measurement, reporting, and verification (MRV) tool for communicating sustainable farming practices on soil health, crop conditions, biosecurity, and the environment. These projects will be co-funded by research organisations, government, and industry.
“As we look to safeguard and enhance Australia’s agriculture sector for the coming years, sovereign space-based monitoring capability is critical,” says Dr Jasmine Muir, Maya Nula Research Program Lead and SmartSat Principal Scientist in Earth Observation. “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.”
The name Maya Nula translates to “eyes here, there, everywhere” in the Dharug language of the Eora nation. The Maya Nula Research Program will be introduced at a ceremony in Canberra attended by the Dharug elders, who were consulted about the mission, including its name and the outcomes of any emerging technologies.