Precision agriculture technologies have continued to develop over the past few decades to facilitate improved machine operation through applying guidance technologies to common use cases such as variable rate application, overlap control, and task management. In the same time interoperability of equipment has improved to allow for mixed fleets of equipment, driven by ISOBUS standards that facilitate a plug-and-play combination od equipment. Recent trends in the advancement of connectivity solutions and farm management systems have produced the potential for even more integration benefits from precision agriculture technologies, however this has also increased the complexity for the operator. The barrier for adoption of precision agriculture technologies has been the challenge of managing data across multiple systems where integration is not smooth, and results in limited access to data and poor user experiences.
JCA’s precision agriculture platform addresses these needs through the integration of connectivity and ISOBUS technologies, building on the strengths realized in precision agriculture to augment these with a connected architecture that allows for interoperability between equipment, with a connected system that provides ease of transfer and access to task and fleet data.
This platform is centered around the JCA Vireo system, which is a tablet-based ISOBUS Universal Terminal, and includes an RTK GPS solution, cloud data management system (Cumulus), and integrated task and fleet management with a system that can be integrated to third-party Farm Management Information Systems (FMIS).
An RTK (Real-Time Kinematic) GNSS (GPS) option is available with the JCA Hummingbird platform. This provides accurate positioning information that can be used for precision agriculture applications within 2 cm precision. The Hummingbird module contains the GNSS receiver with an external antenna that can be mounted on tractors or implements. The positioning data is communicated from the Hummingbird using both the NMEA0183 protocol (over an RS-232 serial channel) and the NMEA2000 protocol (over a CAN bus communication channel), these can be interfaces to ECUs controlling vehicle drivetrains and/or agricultural implements to provide for precision controls in agricultural applications. RTK correction options include cell-based corrections using an NTRIP service or radio corrections for a RTK base station. The Hummingbird can also perform the function of the rover (vehicle mounted units) as well as the base station (fixed mounted unit for corrections).
JCA Cumulus is a cloud-based data management system for the precision agriculture platform. This platform allows for secure management of task data from fleets of machines in the field. The cloud platform has an API that allows for customized user interfaces to the system, as well as access to third-party farm management information systems (FMIS). The combination of fleet management functions, such as machine location, health and status information, remote machine monitoring, with task management functions, such as-applied maps and prescription management, allows for the ability to manage data across multiple machines, and interface to the farm management system of choice by farmers, without the awkwardness of handling USB drives, and disparate data management systems.
FlightPath is JCA’s precision agriculture engine that performs task management functions across the precision agriculture workflow. FlightPath can receive application prescriptions received from third-party Farm Management Information Systems (FMIS) through the Cumulus platform, and deploy these to machines for execution of tasks. FlightPath includes visualization components that can be built into customized user interfaces for planning functions, such as field, headlands, and keep-out area definition, as well as monitoring functions such as real-time task progress of as-applied maps. FlightPath also includes control functions such as overlap control, variable rate application, and prescription execution.
JCA has built on its experience in development of many highly-automated and autonomous machines for a wide variety of different agricultural applications to define an Autonomous Framework that is adaptable to any autonomous machine.
The JCA Vireo is an evolution of the ISOBUS virtual terminal (VT) to combine the implement compatibility benefits of the ISOBUS (ISO11783) standard with the technology capabilities of tablet devices.
Our experience in ISOBUS systems, smartphone/tablet technology, controls systems, and sensing technology allows us to rapidly enable the agricultural implement innovations of our customers.
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