The Wabash Heartland Innovation Network (WHIN) and Trilogy Networks announced today that they are forming a research collaboration to help growers in the ten-county Wabash Heartland manage and connect their precision agriculture technology.
WHIN’s launch of the nation’s first aerostat deployed long-term for rural high-speed internet puts WHIN on the forefront of testing innovative wireless solutions for rural applications.
WHIN’s network, which includes terrestrial and aerostat-based LoRaWAN, is available to service providers who are looking for creative solutions for their customers. WHIN’s model is to drive research and education from the real use of innovative Internet of Things technology, including connectivity.
“Many farmers in our region are eager to take advantage of networked digital technology,” says Johnny Park, CEO of WHIN. “But without connectivity in their fields, using that technology is very difficult.”
“As part of our collaboration with Trilogy Networks, our aerostat will support their FarmGrid, creating a solution for growers that helps not only with connectivity, but also with edge computing, allowing the deployment of advanced applications,” says Park.
Trilogy Network’s FarmGrid is a 5G Farm-to-Cloud – Cloud-to-Farm solution that provides high-speed connectivity on the farm as well as edge computing services that integrate multiple precision agriculture technologies.
“For many applications, edge computing is just as important as connectivity,” says Nancy Shemwell, Chief Operating Office for Trilogy Networks. “Connected technology for farms is fragmented, complex, and expensive to implement. The ultimate goal for FarmGrid is to integrate ag tech products into a seamless platform that gives farmers a single portal for their technology.
FarmGrid 5G and Edge solution includes components that accelerate the development and commercialization of agriculture use cases. “FarmGrid makes it easier to test and integrate new applications into farming solutions today, not tomorrow,” says Shemwell.
That ability to accelerate new products is part of what attracted WHIN to Trilogy and their Rural Cloud Initiative, a coalition of 70 technology and applications providers. “WHIN’s goal is to accelerate the Internet of Things revolution for agriculture,” says Park. “The WHIN region is a Living Laboratory for IoT, and what we learn here will benefit everyone. The Intel Smart Edge Open component of Farm Grid provides the agility we are looking for.”
As well, the collaboration represents a homecoming for one of Trilogy’s Rural Cloud Initiative partners, Allen Salmasi, Chairman and CEO of Veea, Inc. Veea provides FarmGrid’s sensor-to-cloud connectivity to multiple wireless technologies on the farm, enabling the integration of different ag tech solutions.
Salmasi is a Distinguished Engineering Alumni (2018) and the recipient of the Outstanding Electrical and Computer Engineering (OECE) award (1999) from Purdue University. Located in West Lafayette, Purdue is a WHIN partner. The university is developing the next generation of the sensors that power digital ag and is a leader in farm connectivity and digital agriculture application research.
“Purdue is looking forward to working with Trilogy and WHIN on 5G innovation,” says David Broecker, Chief Innovation and Collaboration Officer at the Purdue Research Foundation.
“The digital transformation of today’s farm is paramount," says Salmasi. “We are truly excited about our active participation in this project, which is led by Trilogy and WHIN, to accelerate the digital agriculture revolution.”
SOURCES: Alivia Roberts, Marketing and Communications Manager, Wabash Heartland Innovation Network (WHIN): Alivia@whin.org; Jason Tennenhouse, VP Strategy and Design, Wabash Heartland Innovation Network (WHIN): Jason@whin.org.
ABOUT WHIN: WHIN is an innovative nonprofit organization devoted to making the 10-county Wabash Heartland region of north-central Indiana the global epicenter of digital agriculture and next-generation manufacturing empowered by smart IoT technology.
ABOUT TRILOGY: Trilogy is an established leader in the emerging Edge Compute ecosystem with the deployment of distributed Cloud installations across the United States. Trilogy recently founded the Rural Cloud Initiative, a coalition of network operators and technology providers committed to promoting and accelerating the digital transformation of rural America. In conjunction with network operators and edge innovation partners, Trilogy is utilizing its LinXTM virtual private network and ConEx service delivery platform to build a unified, distributed cloud capability on a single network fabric to cover 1.5 million square miles. To learn more, please visit ruralcloud.com or trilogynet.com.