Powerful data-management software has revolutionized farming just as it has other industries. But wireless in-field access to these tools and the transfer of data from computer to field has not worked as efficiently. While urban information networks can use the same towers that cell pones use to transfer information, wireless farming signals have traditionally traveled via a different technology better suited to the less-developed rural landscape. Unfortunately, this method has limited functionality.
Farming technology leader Raven Industries has solved this dilemma with a new service called Slingshot. According to the company, “Slingshot takes the place of a standard real-time kinematic (RTK) tower network and provides subscribers with an RTK correction signal through the Internet, via mobile cell phone towers. A field hub in the cab receives the signal and gives you real-time access to the Internet, which provides for a suite of online services to help you manage your data and farm vehicles. Services include instant access to an online support team that can diagnose and service your precision farming equipment remotely.”
The improvement means farmers can wirelessly track vehicles, manage and transfer data, and make on-the fly changes to crop input application maps from a laptop, desktop or mobile computer.
The Slingshot service has five components, according to Raven Industries:
Slingshot Field Hub: Works with all major cell phone networks in North America and is built to industrial-grade standards. It provides high-speed Internet on field computers, which enables new levels of services, security and power.
Slingshot RTK: Delivers the most accurate corrections over the largest area with the fewest number of reception issues.
Slingshot Online: Connects users to Slingshot’s North American-based technical support team from the cab.
Slingshot API: Intended for growers, retailers, agronomists and independent software vendors alike to share agronomic data, in a secure, controlled manner.
Slingshot Raven Industries Hardware: Computers, applications controls and other equipment.
If you are unsure if your acreage has RTK coverage, contact Raven Industries via the company’s Slingshot website. Representatives can help to get coverage in your area.
© 2013, tractorlife.com