High clearance phenotyping systems for season-long measurement of corn, sorghum and other row crops to complement unmanned aerial vehicle systems
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© 2016 SPIE. The next generation of plant breeding progress requires accurately estimating plant growth and development parameters to be made over routine intervals within large field experiments. Hand measurements are laborious and time consuming and the most promising tools under development are sensors carried by ground vehicles or unmanned aerial vehicles, with each specific vehicle having unique limitations. Previously available ground vehicles have primarily been restricted to monitoring shorter crops or early growth in corn and sorghum, since plants taller than a meter could be damaged by a tractor or spray rig passing over them. Here we have designed two and already constructed one of these self-propelled ground vehicles with adjustable heights that can clear mature corn and sorghum without damage (over three meters of clearance), which will work for shorter row crops as well. In addition to regular RGB image capture, sensor suites are incorporated to estimate plant height, vegetation indices, canopy temperature and photosynthetically active solar radiation, all referenced using RTK GPS to individual plots. These ground vehicles will be useful to validate data collected from unmanned aerial vehicles and support hand measurements taken on plots.
author list (cited authors)
Murray, S. C., Knox, L., Hartley, B., Méndez-Dorado, M. A., Richardson, G., Thomasson, J. A., ... Rooney, W. L.