P11 Force-A – Force-A (FR)
FORCE-A is an SME created in 2004, as a spin-off company of the French National Research Centre (CNRS). The company designs, produces, and sells optical sensors for the assessment of physiological and health status of crops through their intrinsic fluorescence properties. These new tools, needed for real-time crop monitoring and management, are dedicated to precision agriculture, and can also be used for plant sciences research in general. Force-A's optical tools contribute to better food quality and to environmental protection through a better monitoring of agricultural inputs. Force-A aims to take advantage of the opportunity to develop new sensors for embedded applications.
Major activities in CROPS
To fulfill the objectives of CROPS, FORCE-A proposes to develop specific sensors for dedicated applications, based on its fluorescence technology. This means that the sensor will be selected as function of the task to be done and the fruit to be evaluated. For example, the detection of ripeness in grapes, sweet peppers, or apples is based on different signals, and the early detection of disease is also signal dependant. Although it is based on the same fluorimetric technology, the excitation wavelength and the spectral detection filtering can be different. The other aspect is that the specifications of the sensors to be embedded on an autonomous robot are very constringent and we need to completely review the hardware and software of our sensors. Today our sensors are multipurpose and not well suited for such an embedded application. The first issue is to make the sensor as lightweight as possible, with a low electrical consumption.
Partner webpage: www.force-a.eu