Satellite technologies and web 2.0 for supporting the agricultural sector in Lombardy

The project aims to use Earth Observation (space, air and in situ) to support the regional system and the main stakeholders in the planning and management of the agricultural sector in Lombardy.

Commitment: Regione LombardiaCNR, within the Framework Agreement between Regione Lombardia and CNR

web site: under construction

Period: 2013 - 2015

IREA Funding: € 351.000

IREA Responsible:  Pietro Alessandro Brivio

IREA staff involved: Paola Carrara, Mirco BoschettiAlba L’Astorina,Anna Basoni, Alberto Crema, Alessandro Oggioni, Monica Pepe, Anna Rampini, Daniela Stroppiana, Paolo Villa, Gloria Bordogna


Optical Remote Sensing, Geographic Information Systems, Public Communication of Science


The project “Space4Agri - satellite technologies and web 2.0 for supporting the agricultural sector in Lombardy” finds its justification in two different but complementary fields. On the one hand, it meets the challenge of Aerospace Earth Observation for the development of downstream services that, according to the indications provided within the European program GMES - Global Monitoring of the Environment and Security (now Copernicus), bring added economic value to business and benefits for public administrations and citizens. On the other hand, the proposal stems from the recognition of a need expressed in different contexts from DG Agricoltura di Regione Lombardia (e.g. Workshop “Agrispazio Space Application Contest 2012”, Milano 29/11/12) and shared with ARPA Lombardia; both call for the development of a framework of common knowledge to support the planning and management in the Agrifood sector of Lombardy, favouring sustainable development able to face climatic changes and to cope with challenges brought about by globalization. The project aims are in line with European policies and meet the Expo 2015 objectives. They are also in agreement with Horizon 2020 that specifically mentions food security and sustainable agriculture among its strategic issues and seeks to promote research that will result in innovative products and services offering business opportunities and improving the lives of citizens.

The purpose of Space4Agri is to take advantage in an innovative way of the advances in the following sectors:

- the recent developments in aerospace technologies for Earth Observation (EO), making available a large amount of satellite data with different spatial and temporal resolutions, which will be even greater with the advent of ESA Sentinel missions

- the frontier technologies of aeronautic such as Unmanned Airmobile Vehicles (UAV)

- the pervasive availability of sensor observations and smart technologies that involve citizens in the data/information cycle.

The overall aim is to meet the demand of consistent and updated information from the agricultural sector in Lombardy, that had to deal with unexpected critical situations causing the decrease in maize production for the year 2012 with sensitive impacts on the entire agro-livestock of the Po Valley.

Another innovative feature is the use of Web 2.0 technologies and methodologies for acquiring information directly from sensors (i.e. agro-meteo stations) and in situ observations made by sector specialists (e.g. farmers, associations, consortia) and to return information / value-added services to regional decision-makers and agro-business operators via Web or mobile devices. The use of such technologies is guided by the awareness of the heritage of widespread local knowledge in the agricultural sector of Lombardy Region and by the need to integrate field data and remote observations in order to provide value added information on a regional scale.

CNR staff involved and their role in the Workpackages (WP):

Pietro Alessandro Brivio, IREA CNR, coordinator Project Space4Agri, WP0 responsible, Quality control and management of the project

Paola Carrara, IREA CNR, WP1 responsible, Analysis of the state of the art, user needs and requirements

Mirco Boschetti, IREA CNR, WP2 responsible, SPACE: extraction of information on the state of the crops from satellite data

Marco Sacco, ITIA CNR, WP3 responsible, AERO: design and development of virtual tools supporting shooting from UAV platforms

Gloria Bordogna, Simone Sterlacchini, IDPA CNR, WP4 responsible,IN SITU: web 2.0 for data acquisition and exchange

Mirco Boschetti, IREA CNR, WP5 responsible, Testing methodologies developed for agricultural monitoring in Lombardy

Paola Carrara, IREA CNR, WP6 responsible, Evaluation of the impact of the technologies developed in Lombardy

Alba L’Astorina, IREA CNR, CNR Research Unit Science Communication and Education, WP 7 responsible, Dissemination of results and capacity building actions

other staff involved: Anna Basoni, Alberto Crema, Alessandro Oggioni, Monica Pepe, Anna Rampini, Daniela Stroppiana, IREA CNR; Mauro Todeschini, Giampaolo Viganò, Enrica Romano, ITIA CNR

administrative and management support: Elena Recchia, Enrica Viscardi, IREA CNR

the logo of Space4Agri was created by Nicola Colosio, ITIA CNR