Overview

Agriculture has increasingly incorporated and become reliant on integration & communication technology (ICT) for farming. Farmers seeking to increase profitability, efficiency, and safety of their businesses are steadily adopting the use of precision agriculture, advanced devices and robotic systems using advanced technologies like satellites, drones, robots, temperature and moisture sensors, aerial images, and GPS technology. As a result, LP-WAN (Low Power-Wide Area Network) technologies such as LoRaWAN, NB-IoT, DASH7, Sigfox, LTE-MI, Weightless and Ingenu have become essential enablers to connectivity with their increased adoption owed to their energy efficiency, scalability, and coverage. 

Unfortunately, many Internet-of-Things devices rely on battery power, which limits operations when the battery is depleted and increases cost of operation for battery replacement particularly in remote and difficult to reach areas. To address this challenge the research is focused on harvesting energy from wireless power transfer (WPT) to power LoRa nodes to enable continuous and autonomous space communication in real-time or near real-time. Using target detection narrow-beam wireless power transfer to power a device remotely eliminates the need for batteries. Harvesting energy to power LoRa nodes extensively reduces operation costs because LoRa is a license-free communication network, smaller battery-less drones can fly longer distances and operate longer hours when they are autonomously and continuously powered with target detecting narrow-beam wireless power transfer. 

This innovation will benefit industries that require remote sensing and communication in real-time or near real-time, such as, farmers monitoring their crops and livestock who have adopted LoRaWAN IoT devices and drones to make their jobs easier.

Intellectual Property Protection

Opportunity type

Technology Readiness Level

Co-creators

Miss Yolanda Nxumalo, MEng Satellite Systems and Applications, Cape Peninsula University of Technology (pending), BSc Mechanical and Mechatronics Engineering, University of Cape Town. 

Dr Balyvan Vipin, Senior lecturer, French South African Institute of Technology, Cape Peninsula University of Technology,

Dr Gunjan Gupta, Post Doctoral Fellow, French South African Institute of Technology, Cape Peninsula University of Technology


Dr Pierre Cilliers, French South African Institute of Technology, Cape Peninsula University of Technology. South African National Space Agency, Researcher.

Pitch deck

agtech.pdf1.01 MB