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Remote Sens. 2016, 8(10), 823; doi:10.3390/rs8100823

Imagine All the Plants: Evaluation of a Light-Field Camera for On-Site Crop Growth Monitoring

1
Department Monitoring and Exploration Technologies, UFZ – Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research, Permoser Straße 15, Leipzig 04315, Germany
2
Chair of Geodesy and Geoinformatics, University of Rostock, Justus-von-Liebig-Weg 6, Rostock 18059, Germany
3
Department of Community Ecology, UFZ – Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research, Theodor-Lieser-Straße 4, Halle 06120, Germany
4
Department of Landscape Ecology, UFZ – Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research, Permoser Straße 15, Leipzig 04315, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 29 July 2016 / Revised: 6 September 2016 / Accepted: 22 September 2016 / Published: 7 October 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Remote Sensing in Precision Agriculture)
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Abstract

The desire to obtain a better understanding of ecosystems and process dynamics in nature accentuates the need for observing these processes in higher temporal and spatial resolutions. Linked to this, the measurement of changes in the external structure and phytomorphology of plants is of particular interest. In the fields of environmental research and agriculture, an inexpensive and field-applicable on-site imaging technique to derive three-dimensional information about plants and vegetation would represent a considerable improvement upon existing monitoring strategies. This is particularly true for the monitoring of plant growth dynamics, due to the often cited lack of morphological information. To this end, an innovative low-cost light-field camera, the Lytro LF (Light-Field), was evaluated in a long-term field experiment. The experiment showed that the camera is suitable for monitoring plant growth dynamics and plant traits while being immune to ambient conditions. This represents a decisive contribution for a variety of monitoring and modeling applications, as well as for the validation of remote sensing data. This strongly confirms and endorses the assumption that the light-field camera presented in this study has the potential to be a light-weight and easy to use measurement tool for on-site environmental monitoring and remote sensing purposes. View Full-Text
Keywords: canopy measurements; crop growth monitoring; light-field (LF) vision; on-site observation; plant phenology; precision agriculture canopy measurements; crop growth monitoring; light-field (LF) vision; on-site observation; plant phenology; precision agriculture
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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. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Schima, R.; Mollenhauer, H.; Grenzdörffer, G.; Merbach, I.; Lausch, A.; Dietrich, P.; Bumberger, J. Imagine All the Plants: Evaluation of a Light-Field Camera for On-Site Crop Growth Monitoring. Remote Sens. 2016, 8, 823.

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