Backplane technology aims to counteract farm challenges

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Backplane Systems Technology offers options for farmers looking to use technology to increase productivity and efficiency

Australia’s weather system, combined with labour shortages, has put a major halt on the agriculture industry which in turn has a severe impact on living costs.

The past couple of years has seen the Australian agriculture industry face one setback after the other, starting with COVID-19 travel restrictions prohibiting backpackers from coming into the country, which led to labour shortages with the loss of this seasonal employment for the agriculture industry.

Paired with the labour shortage, the torrential rain system from La Niña set in through Queensland and New South Wales, destroying crops and livestock.

For example, the ‘rain-bomb’ that hit Brisbane in February 2022 led to 80 per cent of the region's annual rainfall occurring within three days.

Similarly, the Coffs Harbour area had 640mm of rain, which is more than 40 per cent of its annual rainfall, within six days; leaving crops such as bananas, avocados and other seasonal vegetables under water.

As climate change continues and the uncertainty around international border conditions heightens, the agriculture industry needs to become resilient and look for alternative ways to increase productivity and efficiency.

Although it is a mammoth challenge, the only thoughtful solution seems to be smart agriculture.

Backplane Systems Technology continues to support innovative technology solutions that can be of immense aid for the agriculture industry.

Backplane Systems Technology designs products for Australian farming conditions

Artificial intelligence, machine learning, and robotics are being deployed across the world into farming applications to increase productivity, address labour shortages, and preserve resources. 

Backplane Systems Technology supports NRU-110V series, which is of huge assistance to agricultural applications.

The NRU-110V series is a Jetson AGX Xavier computer supporting GMSL cameras that can act as a camera sensor hub for autonomous driving, a control unit for autonomous mobile robots (AMR), or a video transcoding unit for teleoperation of unmanned ground vehicles. NRU-110V further integrates various I/O interfaces to interact with different sensors on autonomous machines.

It has a 10GB Ethernet to stream raw images in real-time to another powerful GPU computer performing perception, and a CAN bus interface for in-vehicle communication, or to connect an inertial measurement unit (IMU) to localise and determine orientation and position.

Additionally, NRU-110V offers RS-232 plus dedicated GPS PPS input for connecting an external GPS module, ultimately allowing NRU-110V to figure out its positions and destination on farming land.

NRU-110V is therefore ideal for unmanned vehicles in the farming industry, addressing the labour shortage issues when yielding crops through machinery.

Likewise, Backplane Systems Technology also supports in-vehicle computers that are required to operate vehicles in tough Australian farming conditions.

Backplane has introduced Neousys’ Nuvo-7100VTC, the latest rugged in-vehicle controller featuring PoE cameras with M12 connectors for shock and vibration protection.

There is a 3G/4G/5G, WIFI, GPS, and CAN module on the device for communication, allowing for vehicles to function and communicate effectively in rugged and remote areas. Furthermore, the Nuvo-7100VTC has a patented thermal design of passive cooling that can distribute the hot components to average the thermal condition for each area.

The Nuvo-7100VTC fanless embedded computer can operate (100 per cent CPU loading) under a wide temperature range from -40 degrees to 70 degrees, enabling it to function effectively in extreme Australian weather.

While extreme weather systems and labour shortages are major setbacks for the Australian farming industry, they can also act as a catalyst for farming corporations to move towards smart farming.

Unmanned vehicles can ease the yielding process by maximising efficiency and productivity while rugged computing can also help minimise damage posed by extreme weather systems.

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