It’s hard to believe that space impacts our food. When you think of space and satellites, you don’t necessarily associate it with agriculture. The Space to Spoon is a travelling exhibition launched by the Canada Agriculture and Food Museum in partnership with the Canadian Space Agency (CSA). This exhibition proves there is, in fact, a relation between the effects of solar activity on earth and the food we eat. Satellites like RADARSAT2 have made it possible to observe agricultural land while analyzing and collecting data on the entire planet’s activities. The information received from satellites serves many purposes, and one of them is to make it possible to monitor and help with Canadian farmer’s crops. The data tracks the soil moisture and condition of the land in order to be able to target areas that need less water, fertilizer or pesticide. This is very beneficial to all farmers specially when it comes to avoiding waste and protecting the environment. More importantly, these services are free.
The data collected for example from a satellite called RADARSAT2 allows farmers to manage their resources. In-depth analysis of the land, water and fertilizer management are just some of the reports that can come from the data collected from global positioning systems, remote sensing data and other computing technologies. The ultimate goal of this project is for precision agriculture to become the norm. These reports are also instrumental when it comes to establishing or exploring new or old cultural practices, finding ways to ensure sustainability and being environmentally responsible.
The RADARSAT2 satellite was launched in 2007 and produces images, and videos of the scope and surveillance of our planet. It’s technologically advanced and monitors not only agricultural land but also is capable of marine surveillance, ice monitoring and disaster management. This state of the art technology and discovery has placed Canada in the forefront as having one of the most advanced remote sensing radar technology in the world. It is funded through the CSA and owned by Macdonald, Dettwiler and Associates Ltd. CSA finances the construction and launch of the satellite and then supplies the data to the Government of Canada.
Further developments are underway due to the success of RADARSAT2. The RADARSAT Constellation (RCM) is another satellite set to launch this year. This satellite is currently in development and is meant to ensure data continuity and improve the current satellites reliability. This satellite is meant to be less expensive to operate and maintain but also just as reliable as the original satellite. It is meant to distribute data to other small satellites orbiting the earth which requires less expensive launch vehicles. It also has the capability of providing comprehensive, coherent change maps.
The RADARSAT Constellation approach also performs maritime surveillance, disaster management and ecosystem monitoring which includes analyzing agriculture, forestry, wetlands and more. Farmers in Canada are now able to rely on these technologies at absolutely no cost to them. These precision technology systems will enable farmers to maximize their yields, determine and assess energy consumption and avoid using potential harmful pollutants. These days farming and technology go hand in hand. In fact, it’s crucial. Why not take advantage of the technological advances, research and resources available to get the best crops? The evolution of farming only continues to move ahead with the efforts made by the Canadian Government to further assist the farmers not only in Canada but worldwide. The regular collection of data from space observations and surveillance and continued accumulation of composite images can be beneficial in the study of agriculture and other relevant factors that affect our ecosystem. CSP commits to a lifelong reliable performance to helping Canada’s economy and the environment through supporting leading-edge research and development of technologies like the satellites. It also brings together agencies and encourages partnerships amongst the private and public sectors when sharing all the data from the satellites.
With the growing health trends, now more and more are becoming aware of what is right to eat and what is not. Educating ourselves is so important when it comes to making healthier choices. It is indeed wonderful to have these kinds of modern sciences and other technological advances to help improve our crops and support our farmers which ultimately affects our well being. Now with these satellites, managing our natural resources has become an even easier task. These technologies help the work of not only our farmers but those in forestry, oceanography and other industries surrounding the protection of our planet. All data can also be utilized in improving security and foreign policy and other necessary surveillance.
Cristina Carpio is a television personality, brand and restaurant strategist as well as a passionate food and beverage expert. Travel and living life to the fullest is in her DNA. In addition to hosting Going Global, Cristina is a country ambassador for a global immersive dining platform and has a column for a noted North American food and beverage industry magazine. She has also been recognized for her work and involvement in charitable and community projects and has hosted several prestigious festivals, fashion and cultural events.