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Sensors 2011, 11(2), 2177-2194; doi:10.3390/s110202177

Ultrasonic and LIDAR Sensors for Electronic Canopy Characterization in Vineyards: Advances to Improve Pesticide Application Methods

1
Department of Agri Food Engineering and Biotechnology, Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya Campus del Baix Llobregat, Edifici D4, Esteve Terradas, 8, 08860 Castelldefels, Spain
2
Department of Agro Forestry Engineering, Universitat de Lleida Avda. Rovira Roure, 191, 25198 Lleida, Spain
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 10 December 2010 / Revised: 25 January 2011 / Accepted: 28 January 2011 / Published: 15 February 2011
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Sensing Technology for Nondestructive Evaluation)
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Abstract

Canopy characterization is a key factor to improve pesticide application methods in tree crops and vineyards. Development of quick, easy and efficient methods to determine the fundamental parameters used to characterize canopy structure is thus an important need. In this research the use of ultrasonic and LIDAR sensors have been compared with the traditional manual and destructive canopy measurement procedure. For both methods the values of key parameters such as crop height, crop width, crop volume or leaf area have been compared. Obtained results indicate that an ultrasonic sensor is an appropriate tool to determine the average canopy characteristics, while a LIDAR sensor provides more accuracy and detailed information about the canopy. Good correlations have been obtained between crop volume (CVU) values measured with ultrasonic sensors and leaf area index, LAI (R2 = 0.51). A good correlation has also been obtained between the canopy volume measured with ultrasonic and LIDAR sensors (R2 = 0.52). Laser measurements of crop height (CHL) allow one to accurately predict the canopy volume. The proposed new technologies seems very appropriate as complementary tools to improve the efficiency of pesticide applications, although further improvements are still needed. View Full-Text
Keywords: ultrasonic sensor; LIDAR; vineyard; crop adapted sprayer; leaf wall area ultrasonic sensor; LIDAR; vineyard; crop adapted sprayer; leaf wall area
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Llorens, J.; Gil, E.; Llop, J.; Escolà, A. Ultrasonic and LIDAR Sensors for Electronic Canopy Characterization in Vineyards: Advances to Improve Pesticide Application Methods. Sensors 2011, 11, 2177-2194.

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