Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Estimating Crop Water Needs Using Unmanned Aerial Vehicles

Date:
July 22, 2009
Source:
Andalucía Innova
Summary:
Using a system of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) equipped with thermal multispectral cameras scientists will be conducting flights over experimental plots with different crops, some of them being the largest pistachio nut crop in the world, as well as over almond tree and vineyard crops spread across the State of California. This system allows you to know the ideal time to water the crops, saving water, and it can even be used to detect situations of water waste or water leaks in the irrigation system.

Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) equipped with thermal multispectral cameras.
Credit: Image courtesy of Andalucía Innova

Andalusian scientists of the Institute for Sustainable Agriculture (IAS) -part of the Spanish Council for Scientific Research (CSIC)- and the University of Córdoba (UCO) are leading a campaign of measures in the USA to estimate crop water needs using their own system of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) equipped with thermal multispectral cameras.

In collaboration with the University of California (and thanks to an invitation from the Vice-President of such university for a project led by Dr. David Goldhamer) will be conducting flights over experimental plots with different crops, some of them being the largest pistachio nut crop in the world, as well as over almond tree and vineyard crops spread across the State of California. This system allows you to know the ideal time to water the crops, saving water, and it can even be used to detect situations of water waste or water leaks in the irrigation system. The method has been used in more than 600 flights made between 2007 and 2009 in wheat, corn, peach, olive, orange and vineyards fields in Spain.

In this case it is not only a case of cooperation in the scientific field. According to Pablo J. Zarco-Tejada, one of the participating researchers, ‘is a work also related to private companies (through the program of research result transfer of the University of California to agriculture companies). The companies interested in this technology are AgriWorld and Paramount, the two largest pistachio and almond producers in the world'.

The system is based in small unmanned planes which can fly between 50 minutes and 2 hours and explore up to 1,000 hectares at an altitude of 300 m. above the ground. ‘The planes are equipped with a GPS system that continuously informs of its location to a base station from which the platform is operated and its mapping is observed' Dr. Zarco‑Tejada explains, a researcher of the CSIC leading the project of Cordoba Institute for Sustainable Agriculture (IAS).

'Moreover the aerial robot flying plan can be updated in real time' J.A. Berni said, researcher who has Developer the UAV remote detection integrated system. Planes, which fly above crop fields at an altitude of 150 to 1000 m., are equipped with a thermal camera and a multispectral one. The former delivers the temperature of the surface vegetation and after a series of calculations based on crop transpiration models, it detects water stress vegetation.

The most advanced available system

'There are unmanned aerial vehicles in some countries, mainly in the military sector. In civil applications we can say that our unmanned platform, together with the multispectral and thermal cameras for remote detection, is the advanced one in the market now, fully equipped and fully operative', Professor Zarco-Tejada added.

The idea of these new systems is part of the project on controlled deficit irrigation called CONSOLIDER-RIDECO, led by Professor Elías Fereres Castiel in which researchers from all over Spain are working. Fereres, through the University of Cordoba and the Sustainable Agriculture group of the CSIC, has been collaborating for over 20 years with the University of California at a scientific level.

The international participation of this type of groups specialised in unmanned aerial robots for studies on water needs is scarce. This is what precisely makes this Project particularly interesting for several companies and bodies in and outside Spain', ‘specially for countries or areas with Mediterranean climate where water is scarce'.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Andalucía Innova. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Andalucía Innova. "Estimating Crop Water Needs Using Unmanned Aerial Vehicles." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 22 July 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/07/090707094702.htm>.
Andalucía Innova. (2009, July 22). Estimating Crop Water Needs Using Unmanned Aerial Vehicles. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 16, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/07/090707094702.htm
Andalucía Innova. "Estimating Crop Water Needs Using Unmanned Aerial Vehicles." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/07/090707094702.htm (accessed September 16, 2014).

Share This



More Earth & Climate News

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Conservationists Face Uphill PR Battle With New Shark Rules

Conservationists Face Uphill PR Battle With New Shark Rules

Newsy (Sep. 14, 2014) — New conservation measures for shark fishing face an uphill PR battle in the fight to slow shark extinction. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Pakistan's 'killer Mountain' Fails to Draw Tourists After Attack

Pakistan's 'killer Mountain' Fails to Draw Tourists After Attack

AFP (Sep. 12, 2014) — In June 2013, 10 foreign mountaineers and their guide were murdered on Nanga Parbat, an iconic peak that stands at 8,126m tall in northern Pakisan. Duration: 02:34 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Solar Storm To Hit This Weekend, Scientists Not Worried

Solar Storm To Hit This Weekend, Scientists Not Worried

Newsy (Sep. 11, 2014) — Two solar flares which erupted in our direction this week will arrive this weekend. The resulting solar storm will be powerful but not dangerous. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Ozone Layer Is Recovering, But It's Not All Good News

The Ozone Layer Is Recovering, But It's Not All Good News

Newsy (Sep. 11, 2014) — The Ozone layer is recovering thickness! Hooray! But in helping its recovery, we may have also helped put more greenhouse gases out there. Hooray? Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins