Vine signal extraction : an application of remote sensing in precision viticulture

Smit, J. L. ; Sithole, G. ; Strever, A. E. (2010)

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This paper presents a study of precision agriculture in the wine industry. While precision viticulture mostly aims to maximise yields by delivering the right inputs to appropriate places on a farm in the correct doses and at the right time, the objective of this study was rather to assess vine biomass differences. The solution proposed in this paper uses aerial imagery as the primary source of data for vine analysis. The first objective to be achieved by the solution is to automatically identify vineyards blocks, vine rows, and individual vines within rows. This is made possible through a series of enhancements and hierarchical segmentations of the aerial images. The second objective is to determine the correlation of image data with the biophysical data (yield and pruning mass) of each vine. A multispectral aerial image is used to compute vegetation indices, which serve as indicators of biophysical measures. The results of the automatic detection are compared against a test field, to verify both vine location and vegetation index correlation with relevant vine parameters. The advantage of this technique is that it functions in environments where active cover crop growth between vines is evident and where variable vine canopy conditions are present within a vineyard block.

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