K-State Hosting Midwest Big Data Hub with Focus on UAS for Digital Agriculture


Kansas State University’s Polytechnic Campus in Salina will host the third annual Midwest Big Data Hub “Digital Agriculture Spoke: All-Hands Meeting” on Wednesday, Aug. 21.

The meeting serves as the culmination of a National Science Foundation (NSF) project whose core focus is fostering collaboration, communication and education between academics, industry and end-users to promote work in unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), big data, genomics and phenomics. The project aims to improve food production, automate the big data lifecycle in agriculture, and reinforce remote sensing standards and conventions in the agriculture industry.

The meeting is the finale of the three-year project to discuss and reflect on accomplishments and start building the conversation for future work to develop upon what was learned.

“The digital agriculture community of the Midwest Big Data Hub seeks to further enable data literacy within the nation’s agricultural workforce in order to effectively utilize the enormous volume, velocity and variety of agricultural big data generated using genomic, phenomic and aerial imagery technologies,” states Aaron Bergstrom, advanced cyberinfrastructure manager at the University of North Dakota and lead principal investigator for the NSF project.

“Through the dissemination of these skill sets, our project aims to increase industry profits while making advancements in areas of food security and sustainability,” Bergstrom explains.

The meeting, held at the Tony’s Pizza Events Center in Salina, will feature presentations related to data collection procedures, industry policies and best practices, and automation of the big data lifecycle. Focus will be given to address emerging issues in precision agriculture, drones, ecosystem management and services, biosciences, socioeconomic impacts, and data-related issues in the agricultural ecosystem.

“Researching and implementing UAS for digital agriculture is core to our mission and capabilities,” says Trevor Witt, UAS data analyst at Kansas State University Polytechnic’s Applied Aviation Research Center. “This culminating event will highlight how this project brought academics, industry, nonprofits and end-users together to know more regarding the applied practical applications of UAS for agriculture.”

Registration is open now, with a deadline of Aug. 14. Presentation submission review will begin May 15 and continue until spots are filled. Preceding the meeting is a one-day drone imagery collection, mapping and analysis workshop at the Kansas State Polytechnic Campus. The event is also co-located with sixth annual UAS Tech Forum.

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