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New venture combines drone and soil sensor technology

July 8, 2020  - By

Soil Scout, a wireless underground soil monitoring solution, has announced a new equal distribution partnership with GreenSight, a leading provider of autonomous aerial intelligence services for turf. The technology partnership will give greenkeepers a real-time understanding of how to create optimal above and below ground conditions for their fields while increasing efficiency on water and nutrient usage.

Buried Soil Scout sensors gather critical underground information while drone-mounted GreenSight Turfsight technology visually analyzes the field from the air. Soil Scout provides soil temperature, moisture and salinity data while GreenSight Turfsight takes thermal, normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) and standard images.

This data is combined and accessed in GreenSight’s TurfCloud platform via smartphone, computer or tablet.

“In certain areas, salinity levels can be a big, big problem and also having that information on the same device is a huge benefit,” says Jalmari Talola, CEO of Soil Scout. “Combine the moisture level and temperature, and you can prevent certain plant diseases.”

Talola says Soil Scout and GreenSight’s data can help sports turf managers optimize and adjust irrigation with real-time measurements. The technology is currently in use at facilities for the Philadelphia Phillies, New England Patriots, San Francisco Giants and Miami Dolphins.

“It gives them a completely new tool to be able to test and also check their practices and how they manage the turf,” he says. “The most important thing is to be able to keep up the top-quality turf in all conditions. Greenkeepers will see everything happening on their field and be able to plan their day’s work — before they set foot outside.”

The sensors can be relocated relatively easily, Talola says, and most greenskeepers choose select locations for sensor placement, typically problematic areas of the field.

“Combined with the aerial information — that’s a very powerful tool for the areas where you may not have the sensors but you can reference the data,” he says. “Because it’s wireless technology, you can relocate sensors at any time. You can dig it up and place it somewhere else. It’s maintenance-free and it’s a bury-and-forget type of product.”

Soil Scout was recently backed by Husqvarna in last year’s seed funding round.

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