FarmVibes FarmBeats - image of farm with AI data overlay

Project FarmVibes


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Capturing farm data from sensors, drones, and farm equipment

FarmVibes - photo of silos and an antenna against a sunset sky

A key challenge for data-driven agriculture is affordable connectivity in the middle of the farm. Even though connectivity might exist in the farmer’s house, there is little to no connectivity in the middle of the field. This is a challenge in many parts of the world.  

FarmVibes.Connect involves inventing new ways to bring Internet to the middle of a farm, including:

  • Leveraging unused TV channels for broadband connectivity — This technology refers to unused TV spectrum, in the very high frequency (VHF) and ultrahigh frequency (UHF) bands, which are legal to use in the United States, Canada, and several countries worldwide. Devices using this technology consult with a database to determine the available channels at a location and operate in an available TV channel.
    Read the paper presented at NSDI 2017 >
  • Narrowband IoT connectivity in the middle of the farm — LoRa and SIGFOX IoT networks operate around the 2.4-GHz or 900-MHz band, which have limited propagation through crops and canopies. They can operate in 400-MHz “semi licensed band” in the United States, but that needs coordination with a local agency to get a very small sliver—12.5 KHz—of the spectrum, which can support very few sensors. We propose the use of LoRa over TV spectrum, which is abundantly available in rural areas, for IoT communication. It offers very long-range connectivity over tens of miles, even through crops and canopies. We designed and implemented a narrowband IoT radio that can operate in this spectrum. This opens the door for very large-scale network deployments where a single base station can support hundreds of devices across tens of miles. This led to new FCC regulations allowing the use of narrowband devices in TV spectrum.
    Read the paper presented at NSDI 2022 >
  • Space communications — Our research in Networking technologies is also looking at new ways to communicate from space to ground, and through Edge computing in Space.
    Read our early work presented at SIGCOMM 2021 >

Note: FarmVibes.Connect will be released to GitHub soon.