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NASA Goddard to bring satellite data to African agriculture
Date:4/29/2014

called FieldNotes, an app that collects and displays information from a variety of pre-set sources data from field instruments, pictures that others have shared, weather information, and other inputs depending on user need. Goddard computer engineers Troy Ames and Carl Hostetter developed the programs, in which users can also log their own observations.

"If they were getting soil moisture data from the satellites, and some different gauges in their fields, the weather data coming in and somebody else's observation from a farm a couple miles down the road," Flatley said, "this could tie all that together."

Jeff Hosler, a supervisory computer engineer at Goddard, will work with the mFarms team to determine what technological capabilities and infrastructure their network of farmers and distributors have, what specific kinds of information will be most useful.

"It's rewarding that while we're working on these scientific applications for FieldNotes, this app could also be applied to people's everyday lives," Hosler said. "For some people, their livelihood depends on a lot of this kind of information."

The project is also a way to provide information to countries that helped provide the ground validation essential for researchers, Brown said. Researchers in Africa have provided on-the-ground measurements of rain and soil moisture, but the analysis of the information often doesn't come back to agriculture organizations and meteorologists.

"It's really important we do a good job transferring the benefits of satellite data to people in Africa," she said.


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Contact: Kate Ramsayer
kate.d.ramsayer@nasa.gov
301-286-1742
NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center
Source:Eurekalert  

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