Effect of the illumination angle on NDVI data composed of mixed surface values obtained over vertical‐shoot‐positioned vineyards

Towers, Pedro C. ; Poblete‐Echeverría, Carlos (2021)

CITATION: Towers, P. C. & Poblete‐Echeverria, C. 2021. Effect of the illumination angle on NDVI data composed of mixed surface values obtained over vertical‐shoot‐positioned vineyards. Remote Sensing, 13(5):855, doi:/10.3390/rs13050855.

The original publication is available at http://www.mdpi.com

Publication of this article was funded by the Stellenbosch University Open Access Fund


Accurate quantification of the spatial variation of canopy size is crucial for vineyard management in the context of Precision Viticulture. Biophysical parameters associated with canopy size, such as Leaf Area Index (LAI), can be estimated from Vegetation Indices (VI) such as the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI), but in Vertical-Shoot-Positioned (VSP) vineyards, common satellite, or aerial imagery with moderate-resolution capture information at nadir of pixels whose values are a mix of canopy, sunlit soil, and shaded soil fractions and their respective spectral signatures. VI values for each fraction are considerably different. On a VSP vineyard, the illumination direction for each specific row orientation depends on the relative position of sun and earth. Respective proportions of shaded and sunlit soil fractions change as a function of solar elevation and azimuth, but canopy fraction is independent of these variations. The focus of this study is the interaction of illumination direction with canopy orientation, and the corresponding effect on integrated NDVI. The results confirm that factors that intervene in determining the direction of illumination on a VSP will alter the integrated NDVI value. Shading induced considerable changes in the NDVI proportions affecting the final integrated NDVI value. However, the effect of shading decreases as the row orientation approaches the solar path. Therefore, models of biophysical parameters using moderate-resolution imagery should consider corrections for variations caused by factors affecting the angle of illumination to provide more general solutions that may enable canopy data to be obtained from mixed, integrated vine NDVI.

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