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5G enabling remarkable sustainable agricultural project in Dorset

  • 3 minute read
  • Published by Crispin Moller on 9 Apr 2021
  • Last modified 9 Apr 2021
5G enabled smart and sustainable farming in Portland Port as part of DCMS-funded 5G RuralDorset agriculture project ‘Future of Food’.

JET Engineering System Solutions Ltd today announced the signing of a contract with Dorset Council to deliver a reduced carbon-footprint Aquaculture Monitoring System, made from sustainable materials and harnessing 5G network connectivity, for Jurassic Seafarms Ltd in Portland Harbour, Dorset, UK.

The Aquaculture Monitoring System will analyse sea and environmental conditions, visually track seaweed growth, and monitor shellfish biofouling indicators, using two sub surface cameras. The data will be processed using AI/Machine Learning to better inform farming practices, reduce labour/operating costs and increase productivity in both the Dorset farm and the growing UK aquaculture sector.

This contract extends JET’s contribution to the 5G RuralDorset programme which also includes deployment of their Surf Condition Monitoring buoys along the Jurassic Coast to improve safety by providing real-time sea state monitoring.

James Thomas, CEO of JET said: “We’re very excited to be trialling our Aquaculture Monitoring System with our partners in Dorset. It’s great timing as we’ve recently developed our first buoy constructed with sustainable materials, which we believe to be first-of-kind, and this is the perfect project for its first deployment. We want to support the Blue Economy by improving access to new and critical data streams with our growing 5G maritime network, but we want to do it without adding more plastic to the oceans and by providing active industry leadership towards decarbonisation and achieving net zero.”

This remarkable project will put 5G under the sea to support our agricultural sector to build back better and prepare for a more sustainable net-zero future.

Digital Infrastructure Minister, Matt Warman

The low profile buoys will live stream video and measure sea state 24/7, communicating this information via 5G to project partners. This will include video streams, temperature, and wave height data, to be analysed in conjunction with wider project parameters such as oxygen and algae levels.

Aquaculture data will be transmitted into the cloud connected to leading researchers at the University of Exeter for processing.
The buoys are constructed out of multiple sustainable materials including flax fibre sheets and bio-resin.
The aquaculture work trials is the largest in the UK and forms part of the Future of Food research within the 5G RuralDorset project. Using next generation connectivity and cutting-edge agricultural applications such as AI-driven cattle health monitoring, robotic crop cultivation and chemical free weeding, we hope to improve productivity, ecological impact and efficiency in farming.

Digital Infrastructure Minister Matt Warman said: “This remarkable project will put 5G under the sea to support our agricultural sector to build back better and prepare for a more sustainable net-zero future. We’re proud to be backing 5G RuralDorset through our £200 million Testbeds and Trials programme and I look forward to seeing how it can level up coastal communities and position the UK as a world leader in 5G.”

Dorset Council is lead partner in the £8m 5G RuralDorset programme. Deputy Leader Peter Wharf remarked: ”Aquaculture has been identified in Dorset as a high potential opportunity by the government. It’s exciting that this important research project continues to attract both funding and partners that can help drive innovation forward and create opportunities for the people of Dorset.”

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