Project AirSim

Project AirSim is an AI-first simulation platform to enable autonomy. This new project from Microsoft is starting to explore use cases in agriculture. That’s why we got the chance to talk to Ganesh Rao, General Manager for Autonomous Systems with AirSim, to learn more about the product.


Project AirSim helps customers improve efficiency, increase safety and save money through flexibility, integration, and extensible building blocks that enable autonomous solutions at scale. There are several scenarios in the agriculture domain that can benefit from simulation and autonomous solutions:

  • Crop Monitoring – Aerial simulation can allow farmers to collect high-resolution aerial imagery on their crops which can be used to monitor their health, identify nutrient deficiencies, detect pests or diseases, assess the impacts of environmental factors such as rains, droughts, etc., and assess irrigation needs.
  • Yield prediction – By simulating different environmental factors and crop management strategies, farmers can predict potential yields under various conditions for optimizations and market planning.
  • Precision Agriculture – Aerial simulation can assist with precision agriculture by providing accurate spatial data. By simulating different variable rate application maps for fertilizers, pesticides, or herbicides, farmers can optimize the specific areas within a field yielding better crop performance.
  • Risk Assessment and Insurance – Aerial simulation can help assess and manage risks in agriculture. By simulating different weather events, such as storms, droughts, or floods, farmers can evaluate their potential impact on crops and make informed decisions regarding insurance coverage and risk mitigation strategies.

Simulation is at the heart of building autonomy. The ability to generate contextual, diverse datasets is especially critical in scenarios where safety is of the highest importance. Project AirSim provides a comprehensive set of AI tools to accelerate autonomous transformation.

Project AirSim allows customers to perform high-fidelity 3D simulations at scale, customize pre-trained AI models, run perception simulations using a variety of sensors on robots, and unlock value across a multitude of scenarios in several domains, including agriculture.

When an entire farm is accurately represented as a digital twin, simulation enables customers to model scenarios as optimization problems to monitor the health of a farm, reduce risks, improve yield, and enable learning and experimentation.

The modular and extensible architecture of Project AirSim allows users to do exactly this—APIs to easily configure scenes, sensors, robots, test cases, generate synthetic data at scale, and integration with digital twins—to effectively solve optimization problems via simulation. Project AirSim takes advantage of generative AI and natural language to simplify the complexity of simulation and modeling, helping to democratize the technology to people that may not have AI expertise or specific programming skills.

Today agriculture is undergoing a digital transformation, where data-driven technologies are revolutionizing farming practices. Microsoft Project AirSim and Grand Farm look forward to collaborate in leveraging technology to advance farms of the future.

Read the article in Future Farmer Magazine.