Smart ear tags – newest technology trials at Lansdown

February 27th, 2020

In 2018, CSIRO, through its Data61’s Cyber-Physical Systems Program and Agriculture and Food business units have teamed up with Ceres Tag to tackle a problem facing many livestock producers: locating and monitoring the activity of their livestock on a day-to-day as well as historical basis, which is often time-consuming and costly.

The solution was a joint effort that combined deep technology expertise and agricultural know-how to develop a livestock information platform embodied in a proprietary smart ear tag design. The platform provides animal location and activity, but ultimately allows developers across the livestock supply chain network to provide additional value with welfare, health and performance metrics of their livestock.

In 2019, Ceres Tag established a partnership with Globalstar allowing CSIRO to utilise their proprietary satellite communications chipset to provide global connectivity enabled by Globalstar’s second-generation Low Earth Orbit (1400km) satellite constellation, providing a new paradigm in risk reduction and transparency for the livestock industry.

We believe that this is a world-first and only commercial application that allows direct exchange of data from animal to satellite livestock information platform for the supply chain, from paddock to processor, without requiring additional infrastructure. This allows greater traceability provenance, animal welfare and stock theft reduction, apart from making the solution scalable anywhere, anytime with instant results available to assist decision making.

The adoption of CSIRO’s Data61 Senaps IoT platform as Ceres Tag’s data management platform to connect all sensor data for their partners to develop end-user facing applications has also significantly contributed to the scalability of this solution. Senaps’ open APIs and sophisticated authorisation models allow Ceres Tag to work with a suite of partners, who can access overlapping subsets of data and analytics to target their specific customer segments and use cases.

The ear tags have been continually refined to create a tag that is small, lightweight and applicable to a variety of livestock. In addition, CSIRO’s Data61 is well positioned to transfer this technology’s application to other wildlife animals.

To test the newest technology, Ceres Tag is undertaking large scale trials throughout 2020 in Australia and internationally, across multiple environmental and climatic conditions to test and validate the operational proficiency of its complete livestock information platform developed in collaboration with CSIRO as well as Meat & Livestock Australia, Queensland Government, James Cook University and the Clandestine Design Group.

Last week, trials took place at CSIRO’s Lansdown Research Station, kicking off a long-term trial to demonstrate the latest culmination of design and technology for long-term retention and direct satellite communications, pushing data from 50 animals into Senaps.

Because of its flexibility, this ear tag platform can benefit not only the global agriculture industry but also Governments seeking to improve their provenance and bio-security systems, finance and insurance institutions seeking to reduce risk, trading platforms seeking transparency, animal health company diagnostics for improved data driven decisions, retailers for food safety and security of final consumer products and many more along the complete supply chain network.

Ceres Tag is expecting to enter the market in the second half of 2020.

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