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K-State's Munir receives $1M USDA-NIFA grant

Friday, Aug. 11, 2023



MANHATTAN — Arslan Munir, associate professor of computer science in the Carl R. Ice College of Engineering at Kansas State University, has received a $1 million grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture National Institute of Food and Agriculture to develop a fog-assisted framework designed to fill the gaps in contemporary smart agriculture technologies.

Munir will lead the three-year project, “FogAg: A Novel Fog-Assisted Smart Agriculture Framework for Multi-Layer Sensing and Real-Time Analytics of Water-Nitrogen Colimitations in Field Crops,” which aims to integrate multi-layer sensing and real-time analytics of a plant-soil system to help solve the complex biological puzzle of linking the effect and interaction of two important crop inputs affecting crop yield, in this case, water and nitrogen.

Working alongside Munir from K-State are co-principal investigators Paul R. Armstrong, adjunct professor of biological and agricultural engineering, Ignacio Ciampitti, professor of agronomy, Mitchell Neilsen, professor of computer science, and Naiqian Zhang, professor of biological and agricultural engineering.

“In addition to helping explain the effects of these inputs, FogAg will also help provide near real-time diagnosis of crop stresses and translate the data into usable agronomic decisions that not only boost crop productivity but also increase overall yield,” Munir said. “To meet the project goals and develop the proposed FogAg framework, scientific innovations in core cyber-physical systems areas will be made on architecture, sensing, data analytics and machine learning, and modeling fronts.”

The proposed framework will find many applications in both rural and urban development, while the proposed technologies will help in the efficient usage of resources and improvement to crop health, quality and yield, which will result in significant social and economic benefits in food security. The project also aims to have a positive environmental impact by reducing nitrogen used in agriculture.

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Arslan Munir

Arslan Munir, associate professor of computer science in the Carl R. Ice College of Engineering.

Written by

Grant Guggisberg