NASA program completes two projects to support Virginia’s wine, agriculture industries

Posted at 12:59 PM, May 15, 2015
and last updated 2015-05-15 13:16:21-04

Richmond, Va. – NASA Langley Research Center Applied Sciences’ DEVELOP program has completed two new projects that are designed to support Virginia’s wine industry and improve the efficiency of water consumption for agricultural purposes, Governor Terry McAuliffe announced Thursday.

DEVELOP supports activities that discover and demonstrate innovative uses and practical benefits of NASA Earth science data, scientific knowledge, and technology.

The first research project, “Virginia Agriculture II,” is a partnership between the Virginia Wine Board and DEVELOP that maps the acreage of Virginia vineyards using NASA Earth observations.  The results of this project were presented to the Virginia Wine Board in order to explore the future of viticulture – the science, production, and study of grapes.

The second research project, “Coastal Mid-Atlantic Water Resources III,” partners the Mid-Atlantic Aviation Partnership and Digital Harvest, a Virginia-based company using unmanned aerial vehicle technology in the agriculture sector, to use NASA Earth observations to gain a better understanding of how often farmers need to irrigate their fields, with a goal to decrease water waste and lower economic costs.  This project offers the Commonwealth a greater understanding of water consumption behavior in a region, as well as a useful proxy for drought monitoring throughout Virginia.

“With Governor McAuliffe’s leadership, the Commonwealth is able to use some of our greatest assets, in both agriculture and the NASA Langley Research Center in Hampton, to help solve important public policy issues, including some key ones related to future economic development throughout Virginia,” said Secretary of Technology Karen Jackson.

For more information on the NASA DEVELOP program, please visit