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Micro-satellites offer a fresh view of NYS agriculture


MASON PECK: In my
lab at Cornell, we take basic ideas,
basic research ideas, and launch it into space
and see what happens. What we’ve done for the
first time with this project is translate our basic
ideas into something practical here on Earth. And one of the
surprises is how hard it is to get something
to survive just on the surface of the Earth. You might think that space is a
hostile environment, and it is. But rainwater is really
hard to deal with. HUNTER ADAMS: I have 10 of
these devices on essentially dog collars. And then we put
those dog collars on the newborn calves
up at Sunnyside Farms at Scipio Center. And right now,
what they’re doing is gathering temperature,
humidity, and then sort of activity levels. So I have an accelerometer
on there, a gyroscope, a GPS. Francisco Leal-Yepes is
the professor up there. He’s trying to figure out if
the quality of the air in terms of temperature, humidity,
and eventually ammonia, if we can correlate that at all
with respiratory infections. There are a few points
of this deployment. One of them is to try
to show that there’s a significant microclimate
in the leaf canopies. So I’m trying to show that. I’m trying to show that the
temperature and humidity can vary significantly
as you move down the slope towards the lake. Then the third point has more to
do with the space application, which is I talk about the
utility of these devices for doing planetary science. Earth is a really
convenient planet to do this sort of proof
of concept studies on. So the third point
of this deployment is it’s a case study
planetary science mission.

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