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Proceedings Paper

Remote sensing and implications for variable-rate application using agricultural aircraft
Author(s): Steven J. Thomson; Lowrey A. Smith; Jeffrey D. Ray; Paul V. Zimba
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Paper Abstract

Aircraft routinely used for agricultural spray application are finding utility for remote sensing. Data obtained from remote sensing can be used for prescription application of pesticides, fertilizers, cotton growth regulators, and water (the latter with the assistance of hyperspectral indices and thermal imaging). Digital video was used to detect weeds in early cotton, and preliminary data were obtained to see if nitrogen status could be detected in early soybeans. Weeds were differentiable from early cotton at very low altitudes (65-m), with the aid of supervised classification algorithms in the ENVI image analysis software. The camera was flown at very low altitude for acceptable pixel resolution. Nitrogen status was not detectable by statistical analysis of digital numbers (DNs) obtained from images, but soybean cultivar differences were statistically discernable (F=26, p=0.01). Spectroradiometer data are being analyzed to identify narrow spectral bands that might aid in selecting camera filters for determination of plant nitrogen status. Multiple camera configurations are proposed to allow vegetative indices to be developed more readily. Both remotely sensed field images and ground data are to be used for decision-making in a proposed variable-rate application system for agricultural aircraft. For this system, prescriptions generated from digital imagery and data will be coupled with GPS-based swath guidance and programmable flow control.

Paper Details

Date Published: 22 December 2003
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 5153, Ecosystems' Dynamics, Agricultural Remote Sensing and Modeling, and Site-Specific Agriculture, (22 December 2003); doi: 10.1117/12.506053
Show Author Affiliations
Steven J. Thomson, USDA Agricultural Research Service (United States)
Lowrey A. Smith, USDA Agricultural Research Service (United States)
Jeffrey D. Ray, USDA Agricultural Research Service (United States)
Paul V. Zimba, USDA Agricultural Research Service (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 5153:
Ecosystems' Dynamics, Agricultural Remote Sensing and Modeling, and Site-Specific Agriculture
Wei Gao; David R. Shaw, Editor(s)

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