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Comparing Nadir and Multi-Angle View Sensor Technologies for Measuring in-Field Plant Height of Upland Cotton

1
USDA-ARS, Arid Land Agricultural Research Center, Maricopa, AZ 85138, USA
2
Maricopa Agricultural Center, University of Arizona, Maricopa, AZ 85138, USA
3
School of Plant Sciences, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ 85721, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Remote Sens. 2019, 11(6), 700; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs11060700
Received: 28 February 2019 / Accepted: 16 March 2019 / Published: 23 March 2019
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Abstract

Plant height is a morphological characteristic of plant growth that is a useful indicator of plant stress resulting from water and nutrient deficit. While height is a relatively simple trait, it can be difficult to measure accurately, especially in crops with complex canopy architectures like cotton. This paper describes the deployment of four nadir view ultrasonic transducers (UTs), two light detection and ranging (LiDAR) systems, and an unmanned aerial system (UAS) with a digital color camera to characterize plant height in an upland cotton breeding trial. The comparison of the UTs with manual measurements demonstrated that the Honeywell and Pepperl+Fuchs sensors provided more precise estimates of plant height than the MaxSonar and db3 Pulsar sensors. Performance of the multi-angle view LiDAR and UAS technologies demonstrated that the UAS derived 3-D point clouds had stronger correlations (0.980) with the UTs than the proximal LiDAR sensors. As manual measurements require increased time and labor in large breeding trials and are prone to human error reducing repeatability, UT and UAS technologies are an efficient and effective means of characterizing cotton plant height. View Full-Text
Keywords: cotton; plant height; high-throughput phenotyping; ultrasonic transducers; unmanned aerial systems; light detection and ranging cotton; plant height; high-throughput phenotyping; ultrasonic transducers; unmanned aerial systems; light detection and ranging
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Thompson, A.L.; Thorp, K.R.; Conley, M.M.; Elshikha, D.M.; French, A.N.; Andrade-Sanchez, P.; Pauli, D. Comparing Nadir and Multi-Angle View Sensor Technologies for Measuring in-Field Plant Height of Upland Cotton. Remote Sens. 2019, 11, 700.

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