17 May 1996

Soil sampling from the sky

SOIL sampling equipment which uses satellite navigation is now available from Portsmouth-based Soyl. The company is now offering equipment which can sample fields at specific, recorded locations to enable a soil map to be created.

Designated the Soyl-Mobi system, the equipment is designed to be attached to an ATV. In operation, the unit first maps a fields boundary before drawing a grid with the sampling points and their locations marked. The number of sampling points – the scale of the grid – can be adjusted to suit particular conditions.

Navigation is through the use of Differential Global Positioning Satellite (DGPS) signals, with the system using those produced by either Scorpio or Focus FM.

Scorpio is the name for signals produced by a series of lighthouses in the UK and Focus FM is broadcast on the Classic FM wavelength. Both avoid the need, and the cost, of a ground base used by earlier GPS systems.

Soyl-Mobi costs £4500 with a maintenance deal of £895/year. &#42

Soil sampling by satellite with the Soyl-Mobi system. Price is £4500.