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Sensors 2014, 14(6), 10783-10803; doi:10.3390/s140610783
Article

Active Optical Sensors for Tree Stem Detection and Classification in Nurseries

1,* , 2
, 1
, 3
, 3
 and 3
1 Laboratorio de Propiedades FĂ­sicas (LPF)-TAGRALIA, Technical University of Madrid, Madrid 28040, Spain 2 Aerospace Engineering and Fluids Mechanics Department, University of Seville, Ctra. Sevilla-Utrera km 1, 41013 Seville, Spain 3 Department of Plant Sciences and Biological and Agricultural Engineering, Sensor and Instrumentation Lab, University of California, Davis, One Shields Ave, Davis, CA 95616, USA
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 9 April 2014 / Revised: 6 June 2014 / Accepted: 6 June 2014 / Published: 19 June 2014
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Agriculture and Forestry: Sensors, Technologies and Procedures)
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Abstract

Active optical sensing (LIDAR and light curtain transmission) devices mounted on a mobile platform can correctly detect, localize, and classify trees. To conduct an evaluation and comparison of the different sensors, an optical encoder wheel was used for vehicle odometry and provided a measurement of the linear displacement of the prototype vehicle along a row of tree seedlings as a reference for each recorded sensor measurement. The field trials were conducted in a juvenile tree nursery with one-year-old grafted almond trees at Sierra Gold Nurseries, Yuba City, CA, United States. Through these tests and subsequent data processing, each sensor was individually evaluated to characterize their reliability, as well as their advantages and disadvantages for the proposed task. Test results indicated that 95.7% and 99.48% of the trees were successfully detected with the LIDAR and light curtain sensors, respectively. LIDAR correctly classified, between alive or dead tree states at a 93.75% success rate compared to 94.16% for the light curtain sensor. These results can help system designers select the most reliable sensor for the accurate detection and localization of each tree in a nursery, which might allow labor-intensive tasks, such as weeding, to be automated without damaging crops.
Keywords: optical sensors; tree stem detection; state tree classification; LIDAR; light curtain transmission optical sensors; tree stem detection; state tree classification; LIDAR; light curtain transmission
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Garrido, M.; Perez-Ruiz, M.; Valero, C.; Gliever, C.J.; Hanson, B.D.; Slaughter, D.C. Active Optical Sensors for Tree Stem Detection and Classification in Nurseries. Sensors 2014, 14, 10783-10803.

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