Past Projects

Sense-T's Stage 1 Projects were carried out in Tasmania between July 2012 and March 2015.  

Using sensor technology and data analysis, researchers from the University of Tasmania and CSIRO joined industry partners in agriculture and aquaculture to help producers find new ways to solve problems and make better decisions which could boost their productivity, efficiency and sustainability.  

The major achievements of the Stage 1 projects include:

Sense-T consulted widely with farmers, industry and government to identify the problems and challenges they wanted to address, ensuring the research to be undertaken was relevant and would deliver practical outcomes.  

Funding for the research was provided by the Australian and Tasmanian governments, the University of Tasmania, CSIRO and industry.

Find out more about the Stage 1 Projects by clicking on the links below, or watch our video of farmers and industry regulators talking about how Sense-T's Stage 1 Projects helped them.


Beef and dairy

The Beef and Dairy Optimisation Project was based at Circular Head in North West Tasmania.  The dairy industry in this region is experiencing rapid growth with the opening of a new milk processor and significant expenditure by established companies.  It's also home to renowned brands such as Cape Grim and King Island.Dairy cows

The project was led by scientists from CSIRO and the University of Tasmania's Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture, who worked closely with Dairy Tasmania, the Tasmanian Farmers and Graziers Association, and local beef and dairy farmers.

The researchers aimed to support the industry's growth by helping to:

Sense-T created a prototype web application, driven by real-time sensor data and backed up by leading research, to help Tasmanian farmers to boost their productivity and to better manage their herds by identifying cows that were in oestrus or sick.

One of the key achievements of the Dairy and Beef Project was the development of the Sense-T Pasture Predictor, an online tool that helps farmers to forecast their future pasture growth and make better decisions in managing their herds, production and costs.

Project Leads
Dave Henry
Dr Dave Henry

Principal Research Scientist
CSIRO Livestock Industries
CSIRO
dave.henry@csiro.au

richard rawnsley

Dr Richard Rawnsley

Dairy Centre Leader
Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture
University of Tasmania
Richard.Rawnsley@utas.edu.au


Viticulture

Tasmania produces cool-climate wines of high quality and value with a focus on the premium and super-premium end of the market. 

  Vineyard 

 

The industry is undergoing significant expansion as demand continues to rise, thanks to the State's growing reputation for producing world-class wine.

However, vineyards remain susceptible to damage from frost, fire and disease. 

As a result, Sense-T's researchers aimed to help the wine industry to:

  • minimise the impact of diseases such as Botrytis and reduce the need for spraying;
  • provide early response to frost and smoke;
  • optimise water use and irrigation;
  • improve grape yield and quality; and
  • access markets through demonstrating provenance and sustainable practices.

During the project a prototype web application was developed to provide a range of data on variables such as temperature and soil moisture, offering the potential for producers to use real-time data to make better decisions and improve their business' productivity, efficiency and sustainability.

The research was led by scientists at the University of Tasmania's Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture (TIA) and CSIRO, who worked closely with Wine Tasmania and local vineyards.

Project Leads
Kathy Evans
Dr Kathy Evans

Senior Research Fellow
Perennial Horticulture Centre
Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture
University of Tasmania
Katherine.Evans@utas.edu.au

richard rawnsley
Dr Liliana Cabral

Research Fellow
Autonomous Systems Research Program
CSIRO Computational Informatics
Liliana.Silvacabral@csiro.au


Aquaculture

Aquaculture is one of Tasmania's fastest growing industries, with locally grown Atlantic salmon, Pacific oysters and abalone highly sought after in national and international markets. But the industry is sensitive to changes in the environment, particularly those affecting filter feeders such as oysters.Aquaculture

The Aquaculture Project was designed to help the industry to:

Sense-T's Aquaculture Project used prototype sensors and data analysis to provide regulators with critical environmental and biophysical data in real-time, backed up by research to predict changes in environmental conditions.

The project also developed new sensing technology attached to oysters to measure heartbeat, temperature, feeding and position in the water column, creating the potential for the health of shellfish to be monitored in real-time to inform production management.

Sense-T's award-winning web application is daily used by the industry regulator to better inform decisions about the possible closure of oyster harvesting due to environmental or health concerns.

The project was led by scientists from CSIRO and the University of Tasmania, who worked closely with industry bodies and farmers.

Project Leads
John McCulloch
John McCulloch

Project Leader
Autonomous Systems Research Program
CSIRO Computational Informatics
John.McCulloch@csiro.au

Dr Nick Elliott
Dr Nick Elliott

Aquaculture Breeds Stream Leader
CSIRO Food Futures Flagship and Marine and Atmospheric Research
Nick.Elliott@csiro.au


Water

Tasmania's North East communities have identified water management as crucial to their future, with major local industries such as dairy and cropping relying heavily on irrigation. 

Tasmanian farmer Jeremy Carins

Tasmanian farmer Jeremy Carins

The success of these industries depends on the long-term health of the water ways and the wise use of water.

Through its Adaptive Water Management Project, Sense-T worked with communities along the Ringarooma and South Esk catchments to provide access to real-time information on the levels and health of the waterways. 

Using sensor and communication technologies, catchments were monitored in real-time to allow managers to respond to short-term changes in conditions.

Data was made available through a prototype web application that helped farmers to manage water extractions and releases, while informing the general community about environmental values.

The project's achievements included:

The project was led by scientists from the University of Tasmania and CSIRO, with support from the Tasmanian Farmers and Graziers Association and the Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment.

Project Leads
Brigid Morrison
Brigid Morrison

Researcher
School of Land and Food
University of Tasmania
Brigid.Morrison@utas.edu.au

Philip Smethurst
Philip Smethurst

Research Scientist
Ecosystem Sciences
CSIRO
Philip.Smethurst@csiro.au