The University of Huelva (UHU), through the European research project Technologies for the management and supervision of olive cultivation (Tecnolivo), will promote research, technological development and innovation in this field, based on innovative agricultural techniques of accuracy through drones.

Tecnolivo is led by the professor of the Onubense, Mr. José Manuel Andújar, and in it, together with members of his research group called Control and Robotics TEP 192, the National Institute of Aerospace Technology (INTA), the Institute Nacional de Investigação Agrária e Veterinária (Portugal), Ubiwhere Lda. (Portugal), the Sociedad Cooperativa Andaluza Nuestra Señora de la Oliva, of Gibraleón (Huelva) and la Murtigao – Sociedade Agrícola, SA (Portugal).

This project, financed with 2.5 million euros, pursues the development of a marketable technological solution (Tecnolivo) and easy to use by the farmer, which allows the integral, ecological and optimized management of the olive grove through non-invasive monitoring of agronomic parameters of interest. The objective is to modernize a traditional sector such as olive growing, creating a pioneering technological product that opens up new business opportunities and places the industry in Huelva and southern Portugal at the forefront of international innovation and, by extension, in the rest of Andalusia and center of Portugal. With Tecnolivo, we also seek to improve the sustainability of olive cultivation, favoring an optimal use of resources.

The project presents an integral solution, in the sense that it is not just about making flights with drones to obtain crop data through cameras or other sensors, but to configure a complete solution that integrates data acquisition, transmission, processing, interpretation, visualization and guided actions, in a close and ergonomic way for the farmer. Moreover, Tecnolivo intends to be a system managed by the same farmer so that after a learning process, it constitutes another tool, such as farming implements or the tractor itself. In fact, it has a dynamic configuration so that each time you can identify different areas of the olive grove in terms of interest, to show greater variability, once these areas are established from the air, the network is installed in them.

The system is configured based on a drone or network of them that will act together with a network of terrestrial sensors, which will allow monitoring in real time and in a georeferenced manner, the key parameters of the olive grove. In this way, it will be known in real time from the hydric status and individualized nutrients of each tree, up to an estimate of the amount of harvest, also having an evaluation of the existence or not of pests and diseases, treatments to be applied, in what areas of the olive grove and to what extent.

Tecnolivo seeks to create added value in the olive sector in the province of Huelva, promoting the transfer of technology from the university, so that they can generate greater business opportunities and quality employment.

SOURCE: University of Huelva.