• Industries
28. March 2024

Space for Agriculture

Discover how space technologies are enhancing agriculture. Learn about the transformative role of Earth Observation (EO), Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS), and Satellite Communication (SatCom) in enabling agriculture to become more productive, sustainable, and resilient to environmental challenges.

Unlock Your Industry's Potential with Space - Schedule a Free Consultation Today!

Agriculture is essential for modern life on Earth and is central to many economies globally, feeding people, providing employment, and contributing to economic development. This sector encompasses everything from crop cultivation to livestock breeding and agroforestry. Yet, it is a field inherently dependent on the whims of nature, with productivity closely tied to soil fertility, water availability, and weather conditions. Despite significant strides in biotechnology, farm machinery, and chemical inputs enhancing farming efficiency, challenges exist in further insulating agricultural practices from unpredictable environmental factors, while continuously improving sustainability and environmental well-being.


In recent years, the agricultural landscape has been shaped by several key trends. Precision agriculture has emerged, using sensors and data analytics to optimise farm management, making it possible to do more with less and minimise waste. At the same time, there’s a growing shift towards sustainable practices like organic farming and integrated pest management, aiming to reduce the sector’s environmental footprint. Urban spaces have seen the rise of vertical farming, using innovative soilless farming techniques that maximise space and resource efficiency. However, these advancements are countered by significant challenges. Climate change brings about extreme weather conditions and shifts in climate zones, directly threatening crop production. Water scarcity is ever present in many regions, with the agricultural sector grappling with the need for efficient irrigation methods amidst dwindling water supplies. Market fluctuations further exacerbate the situation, introducing price volatility influenced by global supply-demand imbalances and fluctuating trade policies.


Against this backdrop, space technologies – Earth Observation (EO), Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS), and Satellite Communication (Satcom) – offer promising solutions. These technologies hold the potential to transform agriculture, enhancing efficiency, sustainability, and resilience. By integrating space-derived data and applications into agricultural practices, stakeholders can better navigate environmental challenges, optimise resource use, and stabilise production in the face of ever-changing global conditions.


At LETO SPACE, we see huge opportunities for space technologies to further transform agriculture, increasing productivity and resilience and putting valuable data and insights in the hands of stakeholders, all while continuing the efforts to create a sustainable and secure agriculture sector.




Space technologies are advancing agricultural productivity. They facilitate precision in crop monitoring, soil and weather analysis, and efficient utilisation of resources, marking a significant shift towards high-tech farming.


EO data helps in assessing crop health through data on the crop type and status of growth and disease. This capability allows for timely interventions, enhancing yields by addressing crop needs promptly. Similarly, this data aids soil moisture analysis, providing farmers with the information needed to optimise irrigation strategies. This not only ensures water is used efficiently but also conserves this vital resource. Space technologies also offer farmers access to up-to-date weather information, crucial for planning and protecting crops against adverse weather conditions. Pest and disease control benefit from EO data, which aids in the early detection of outbreaks, allowing for targeted treatment. This approach significantly reduces the need for widespread chemical use, aligning with sustainable farming objectives. Furthermore, SatCom’s connectivity powers IoT devices in agriculture, enabling monitoring of environmental parameters and promoting environmentally friendly practices.


Many platforms already exist that apply these technologies for agricultural productivity. DigiFarm leverages neural network models to offer real-time data and precision farming tools, enhancing field management and crop productivity. OneSoil employs machine learning models to provide global agricultural data, including precise field boundaries and crop identification. SatAgro, utilising satellite technology, facilitates crop monitoring and soil analysis, contributing to more informed farm management decisions.


These platforms offer solutions that enhance productivity, improve resource efficiency, and promote sustainability. By employing these technologies, the agricultural sector is set to meet the growing global food demand more effectively and sustainably.




These technologies also enable automated operations, optimal resource utilisation, and seamless connectivity across extensive and remote farming landscapes.


GNSS technology provides machinery with centimetre-level accuracy, drastically reducing overlaps in field operations, and saving both time and fuel. This precision is crucial for maximising the efficiency of agricultural operations, minimising waste, and conserving resources. Additionally, EO and SatCom play a role in remote monitoring, allowing for the continuous observation of facilities and machinery. This capability ensures timely interventions can be made, protecting operations against potential threats. The automation of resource applications is another significant advancement. Systems equipped with data from these technologies can accurately apply water, fertilisers, and pesticides, tailoring them to the specific needs of the crops. This precision minimises waste and mitigates environmental impacts, promoting more sustainable farming practices. Data integration from EO, GNSS, and SatCom provides farmers with detailed insights and control of their operations, enabling data-driven decisions that enhance crop management strategies.


Companies are leveraging these technologies to offer precision agriculture solutions. Topcon Positioning’s guidance systems and production solutions, built around GNSS, aim to optimise farming profitability and efficiency. These guidance and auto-steering solutions are near-universally compatible with agricultural machines and are quickly becoming essential in modern farming. Similarly, Septentrio specialises in precision GNSS receivers for agricultural robotics and automation. Their solutions address farming challenges by enabling precise land measurements and targeting fertiliser application, reducing operational costs.


Through these technologies, the agriculture sector shifting towards more efficient, sustainable, and productive operations.




One of the most pressing concerns in agriculture today is drought management. Through EO technologies, farmers can detect early signs of drought, enabling them to implement water conservation strategies effectively. This early detection is vital in mitigating the impact of water scarcity on crops, ensuring that water resources are used judiciously. Satellite imagery offers insights into soil moisture and fertility levels. This information is indispensable for soil preservation efforts, allowing farmers to maintain and enhance soil health through appropriate interventions. Soil health is directly tied to the overall productivity and sustainability of farming operations.


The analysis of long-term climate patterns through space data equips farmers with the knowledge needed to adapt their practices to changing environmental conditions. Satellites provide accurate weather forecasts in both the short and long term, enabling farmers to plan their agricultural activities around weather conditions and climate patterns, reducing the risks of crop damage from adverse conditions.


One of the companies spearheading the use of these technologies is Constellr. Constellr, specialises in environmental monitoring for agriculture, utilising advanced satellite data to offer detailed insights into land surface temperatures. This capability enhances the managing of water resources, detecting early signs of drought and optimising crop health. High-resolution temperature data aids in identifying drought and heat stress early on, determining the best times for pollination, and prioritising field interventions that maximise their impact.


Through the integration of EO, GNSS, and SatCom technologies, environmental monitoring in agriculture can become more effective, leading to smarter, more sustainable farming practices. By enabling precise monitoring, efficient resource use, and enhanced insights and predictions, these technologies are making farming more productive, sustainable, and resilient to environmental challenges. By harnessing space technologies and data for agriculture, we open up new possibilities for feeding the world’s growing population while preserving the planet for future generations. The transformation of agriculture with space technologies is just beginning, promising a brighter, more secure food future.


Table of Contents

Unlock Your Industry's Potential with Space - Schedule a Free Consultation Today!