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Agriculture 2016, 6(1), 4; doi:10.3390/agriculture6010004

A Programmable Aerial Multispectral Camera System for In-Season Crop Biomass and Nitrogen Content Estimation

1
Institute of Crop Science, University of Hohenheim, Fruwirthstr. 23, Stuttgart 70599, Germany
2
Institute for Geoinformatics, University of Münster, Heisenbergstr. 2, Münster 48149, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Yanbo Huang
Received: 29 October 2015 / Revised: 11 December 2015 / Accepted: 29 December 2015 / Published: 18 January 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Remote sensing for crop production and management)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [4210 KB, uploaded 18 January 2016]   |  

Abstract

The study introduces a prototype multispectral camera system for aerial estimation of above-ground biomass and nitrogen (N) content in winter wheat (Triticum aestivum L.). The system is fully programmable and designed as a lightweight payload for unmanned aircraft systems (UAS). It is based on an industrial multi-sensor camera and a customizable image processing routine. The system was tested in a split fertilized N field trial at different growth stages in between the end of stem elongation and the end of anthesis. The acquired multispectral images were processed to normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) and red-edge inflection point (REIP) orthoimages for an analysis with simple linear regression models. The best results for the estimation of above-ground biomass were achieved with the NDVI (R 2 = 0.72–0.85, RMSE = 12.3%–17.6%), whereas N content was estimated best with the REIP (R 2 = 0.58–0.89, RMSE = 7.6%–11.7%). Moreover, NDVI and REIP predicted grain yield at a high level of accuracy (R 2 = 0.89–0.94, RMSE = 9.0%–12.1%). Grain protein content could be predicted best with the REIP (R 2 = 0.76–0.86, RMSE = 3.6%–4.7%), with the limitation of prediction inaccuracies for N-deficient canopies. View Full-Text
Keywords: camera; multispectral; nitrogen; precision agriculture; protein; remote sensing; UAS; UAV; winter wheat (Triticum aestivum L.); yield camera; multispectral; nitrogen; precision agriculture; protein; remote sensing; UAS; UAV; winter wheat (Triticum aestivum L.); yield
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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Geipel, J.; Link, J.; Wirwahn, J.A.; Claupein, W. A Programmable Aerial Multispectral Camera System for In-Season Crop Biomass and Nitrogen Content Estimation. Agriculture 2016, 6, 4.

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