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Agricultural UAV

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Here some abstracts of articles published on the argument from different sources, you can easily find the
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Plant stresses, in particular fungal diseases,basically show a high variability in space and time with
respect to their impact on the host. Recent Precision Agriculture techniques allow for a spatially and
temporally adjusted pest control that might reduce the amount of cost-intensive and ecologically harmful
Conventional stress detection techniques such as random monitoring do not meet demands of such
optimally placed management actions. The prerequisite is a profound knowledge about the controlled

phenomena as well as their accurate sensor-based detection. Therefore, the present study focused on
spatiotemporal dynamics of stress factors in wheat, Europes main crop. Primarily, the spatiotemporal
characteristics of the fungal diseases, powdery mildew (Blumeria graminis) and leaf rust (Puccinia
recondita), were analysed by remote sensing techniques and geo-statistics on leaf and field scale.
** Can Commercial Digital Cameras Be Used as Multispectral Sensors_ A Crop Monitoring
Payload size and weight are critical factors for small Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs).
Digital color-infrared photographs were acquired from a single 12-megapixel camera that did not have an
internal hot-mirror filter and had a red -light-blocking filter in front of the lens, resulting in near -infrared
(NIR), green and blue images.
We tested the UAV-camera system over two variably-fertilized fields of winter wheat and found a good
correlation between leaf area index and the green normalized difference vegetation index (GNDVI) . The
low cost and very high spatial resolution associated with the camera UAV system may provide
important information for site-specific agriculture.
In this paper we present the prototype of a light-weight multi-spectral sensor which can be flown on a
micro UAV and we discuss the promising results from two field tests which show the excellent potential for
assessing plant health in agronomical research. We start out by illustrating the gap between air- and
space-based remote sensing (RS) on the one side and ground-based RS on the other.
We highlight the need for (very) high resolution remote sensing offered by low altitude airborne platforms
such as mini or micro UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles). For this purpose, we first discuss the specific
characteristics and requirements of typical applications requiring very high resolution RS. We then look
into recent developments in light-weight UAV technologies and
present the micro UAV which served as platform for the sensor development and tests at the University of
Applied Sciences Northwestern Switzerland (FHNW). Inthe following section we provide a description and
discussion of the MultiSpectralMicroSensor (MSMS), the
prototype of a light-weight multispectral sensor developed at the FHNW. We further describe two field
campaigns with two different types of UAV platform s and MS sensors and discuss the obtained results,
which clearly demonstrate the excellent potential of very high -resolution micro UAV based remote
sensing applications.
Precision farming is a systems approach to managing soils and crops to reduce decision uncertainty
through better understanding and manage ment of spatial and temporal variability. Much research has

been conducted to develop strategies for site-specific crop management in different agricultural systems,
with mixed results. Applications in which the sole focus has been on variable rate technology for
managing spatial variation at the sub-field level have often failed to deliver significant and consistent
improvements in crop yields, profitability, input use
efficiency, and environmental impact. More robust, dynamic, and integrated forms of site-specific
management are currently being developed. They require better techniques for characterizing and
understanding crop growth determinants at the spatial and temporal scales that are most relevant for
decision-making. This level of detailed understanding pays most in high-value crops, where more precise
management can improve both quantity and quality.
Plant diseases and pests can affect a wide range of commercial crops, and result in a significant yield
loss. It is reported that at least 10% of global food production is lost due to plant diseases (Christou and
Twyman, 2004; Strange and Scott, 2005). Excessive pesticides are used for protecting crops from
diseases an d pests. This not only increases the cost of production, but also raises the danger of toxic
residue in agricultural products. Disease and pest control could be more efficient if disease and pest
patches within fields can be identified timely and treated locally. This requires obtaining the information of
disease infected boundaries in the field as early an d accurately as possible. The most common and
conventional method is manual field survey. The traditional ground-based survey method requires high
labor cost and produces low efficiency. Thus, it is unfeasible for large area. Fortunately, remote sensing
technology can provide spatial distribution information of diseases and pests over a large area with rela
tively low cost. The presence of diseases or insect feedings on plants or canopy su
rface causes changes in pigment, chemical concentrations, cell structure, nutrient, water uptake, and gas
exchange. These changes result in differences in color and temperature of the canopy, and affect canopy
reflectance characteristics, which can be detectable by remote sensing (Raikes and Burpee 1998).
Therefore, remote sensing provides a harm less, rapid, and cost-effective means of identifying and
quantifying crop stress from differences in the spectral characteristics of canopy surfaces affected by
biotic and abiotic stress agents.
Precision agriculture recognizes the inherent spatial variability associated with soil characteristics, land
morphology and crop growth, and uses this information to prescribe the most appropriate management
strategy on a site-specific basis. To reach this task, the most important information related with crop
growth is nutrient status, weed infestation, disease and pet affectation and water management. The
application of fertilizer nitrogen to field crops is of critical importance because it determines plants growth,
vigour, colour and yield. Furthermore, nitrogen has been observed as a nutrient with high spatial variability
in a single field, related

to its high mobility. Some previous works have shown that is possible to measure crop nitrogen status with
optical instruments. Since most leaf nitrogen is contained in chlorophyll molecules, there is a strong
relationship between leaf nitrogen and leaf chlorophyll content, which is the
basis for predicting crop nitrogen status by measuring leaf reflectance. So, sensors that can easily
monitor crop nitrogen amount throughout the growing season at a high resolution to allow producers to
reach their production goals, will give useful information to prescribe a crop management on a sitespecific basis. Sunflower is a crop which is taking importance again because it can be used both for food
and biofuel purposes, and it is widely cultivated in the South of Spain and other European countries. The
aim of this work was to compare an index related with sunflower nitrogen status, deduced from
multispectral images taken from an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV), with optical data collected with a
ground-based platform.
An ADC Lite Tetracam digital cam was mounted on a md4-200 Microdrones to take pictures of a
sunflower field during the crop season. ADC Lite Tetracam is a single sensor digital camera designed for
capture of visible light wavelength longer than 520 nm and near-infrared wavelength up to 920 nm. The
md4-200 Microdrones is an UAV which can be programmed to follow a route defined by several waypoints and actions. The ground-based device was a Pacific Vision, Inc. multispectral radiometer. Four
images with both systems were taken during the crop season and an index related with nitrogen crop
status was calculated from them and
compared in a sunflower field that had four irrigation treatments and eight nitrogen application rates,
resulting in 32 plots of 7 m by 3.4 m, with a plant density of 7.1 plants m -2.
Calculated Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) from both measurement systems was a good
indicator of nitrogen applied, but the UAV-based system provided a better estimate than ground-based
system because in the first system was possible to eliminate the soil and shadows for calculating the
Turkish Agriculture can be characterized by small farm scales causing low productivity and inefficient use
of production inputs. On the other hand, with its potential of reducing the environmental impact and
increasing the productivity, precision farming approach is being considered as a new revolution in
agriculture. Precision farming takes the variability of the field into account, in terms of soil fertility, yield,
pest distribution, soil compaction, etc, and allows the application of right inputs at the right amount onto
the right location. However, in order to benefit out of this advanced technology for saving inputs, energy
and ecology, some extra investments should be made which requires an appraisal study for various
farming conditions.
Since this technology is rather new or even unknown for Turkish farmers,this paper describes the current
social, economical and physical situation of farming systems and examines the prospects for precision
farming applications in Turkey.

This study explores the use of structure from motion (SfM), a computer vision technique, to model wine
canopy structure at a study vineyard in the Texas Hill Country. Using an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV)
and a digital camera, 201 aerial images (nadir and oblique) were collected and used to create a SfM point
cloud. All points were classified as ground or non-ground points. Non-ground points, presumably
representing vegetation and other above ground objects, were used to create visualizations of the study
vineyard blocks. Further, the relationship between non-ground points in close proximity to 67 sample vines
and collected leaf area index (LAI) measurements for those same vines was also explored. Points near
sampled vines were extracted from which several metrics were calculated and input into a stepwise
regression model to attempt to predict LAI. This analysis resulted in a moderate R 2 value of 0.567,
accounting for 57 percent of the variation of LAI SQRT using six predictor variables. These results provide
further justification for SfM datasets to provide three-dimensional datasets necessary for vegetation
structure visualization and biophysical modeling over areas of smaller extent. Additionally, SfM datasets
can provide an increased temporal resolution compared to traditional three-dimensional datasets like
those captured by light detection and ranging (lidar).
In order to develop a low-cost and easy to implement technical solution to map inside-field spatial
variability, and to exploreits relationship with crop conditions, several experiments were conducted using
ultra-light aircraft and Unmanned AerialVehicle (UAV) equipped with visible and infrared cameras. The
sensors consisted of a ramp of 3 small format digital cameras (EOS 350D, Canon): one for the visible
part of the spectrum, and two modified cameras in order to acquire red edge and near infraredradiations.
The images acquisition on the3 cameras is simultaneous using external triggers and can be activated
through the operator remote control or the ground or programmed to be automatically done using an onboard GPS navigation system. On ultra-light aircraft we also add a micro-bolometer thermal camera to the
system. This paper describes the components of this acquisition system and focuses on the geometric
and radiometric processingsteps necessary for quantitative use of the data. At an altitude of 500 m this
system acquires images with a ground resolution of 8 cmfor the visible and near infrared bandsand 55 cm
for the thermal band. Unmanned Aerial Vehicle common altitude stretches over several tenth of meters up
to 500m and is adapted to the survey of fields of several hectares with very high spatial resolution. Ultralight aircraft offers a range of altitude up to 1 to 2 km and a larger survey capacity with smaller spatial
resolution. The spectral sensitivity of the cameras was measured using monospectral emittance sources .
We worked both on the rawmultispectral images and on the computed jpeg standard out put. This allowed
us to select the best band (or band combination) to produce red edge and near infrared images. Wealso
developed an algorithm tocompensate some radiometric distortion in the acquired images,particularly on
vignetting effect. Classical photogrammetric calibration was used in order to measure lens geometryof
each camera and evaluate as preciselyas possible the coefficients of the lens polynomneeded by
commercial photogrammetric software. Several sets of images were acquired over experimental fields in
temperate zone (on wheat) and tropical zone (on sugarcane). These images were radiometrically and
geometrically corrected used the above elements and arestored as georeferencedstackable images in a
Geographic Information System.The next step for a quantitative use of the data is to compensate changes
due to atmospheric and illumination conditions inthe image time series

The Unmanned Aircraft Systems Engineering (UASE) student design team at the University ofNorth
Dakota has developed the PrecisionAg payload tobe utilized in precision agriculture applications.The
payload is designed aroundthe Tetracam Agricultural Digital Camera (ADC), a low-cost multispectral
camera delivering imagery in the red, green, and near infrared spectra. These color bandscan be
combined to calculate the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI), a measure ofrelative
vegetation health. Design and manufacturing considerations were given to physical packaging,vibration
isolation, as well aselectromagnetic compatibility andinterference suppression. The PrecisionAg payload
was successfully integrated intothe Raytheon Cobra and the Lockheed Martin SkySpirit 2 Unmanned
Aircraft Systems (UAS) and was flown in collaboration with Raytheon andLockheed Martin personnel
during the summer of 2007. This paper describes the specific challenges associated with collecting data
from small UAS platforms to produce image mosaics. The UAS flight path, altitude, and ground speed
must remainwithin specific limits such thatthe camera can produce usable images given the field-of-view,
capturerate, and exposure time. Furthermore, this paper describes the interactions between UAS
operators andthe payload developer required toprovide a streamlined method of customized data
In the last years UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) systems are become very actractivefor various
commercial,industrial, public,scientific and military operations. The tasks include pipeline inspection, dam
surveillance, photogrammetric survey, infrastructure maintenance, inspection of flooded areas,fire fighting,
terrain monitoring, volcano observations and so on. The impressive flyingcapabilities provided by UAVs
require a welltrained pilot to be fully and effectively exploited; moreover the flight range ofthe piloted
helicopter is limited to the line-of-sight or the skillof the pilot to detect and follow the orientation of the
helicopter. Such issues have motivated the research and the design for autonomous system guidance
which could both stabilize and also guide thehelicopter precisely along a reference path. The constant
growthof research programs and the technological progress in the field ofnavigation systems, as denoted
by the production of more and more performing GPS/INS integratedunits, allowed a strong costreduction
and payload miniaturization, making the design of low cost UAV platform s more feasible and
actractive.Small autonomoushelicopters have demonstrated to be a useful platform for a number of
airborne-based applications such as aerial mapping andphotography, surveillance (both military and
civilian), powerline inspection and agricolture monitoring. In this paper we present theresults of a flight
simulation system developed for the setup ofthe servos which our autonomous guidance system will be
basedon.Building a simulated environment allows, indeed, to evaluate inadvance what are the main
issues of a complex control system, avoiding to damage fragile and expensive instruments as the ones
mounted ona model helicopter.
This paper describes the large potential offered by integrating mobile geo sensor data , for example
georeferenced video imagery acquired from micro UAVs, into collaborative 3D geoinformation
technologies. It identifiessome of the key issues to be addressedin the design and implementation of such
geospatial collaboration frameworks and describes the main features of a prototype systemwhich is
currently being implemented as part of the ViMo (Virtual Monitoring) research project.