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The Design of a Remote Sensing Data Acquisition Campaign for Precision Agriculture and Some Early ResultsIn the 1970s NASA and the Department of Agriculture attempted to use the new Landsat MSS system for agricultural purposes. The program had relatively little success. With the advent of differential GPS, yield monitors on harvest equipment and higher spatial resolution remote sensing systems it seemed likely the situation should be reexamined. Therefore, a campaign of data acquisition involving remote sensing and other modalities with dependent research was assembled and funded by the Space Grant Consortia in Alabama and Georgia. The design of the remote sensing data acquisition was driven by the biology and physics of the crop system and limited by the available sensor platforms. Major parameters included crop stage, spatial resolution, seasonal and daily weather conditions, and which portion of the EM spectrum would actually capture the most discriminating information. Joint visible and Near IR with Thermal IR would permit use of existing indices, such as greenness, as well as phenomena driven by the plant' s evapotranspiration. Spatial resolution in the 2-5 meter range was chosen, avoiding many complexities caused by aliasing crop row spacing at, higher resolutions yet finer than the harvester's tightest recording rate. This dictates use of an airborne system. Use of an airborne system also makes scheduling around weather much simpler than use of satellite data. Active video calibration was recognized as essential if quantitative measures were ever to be obtained or reproduced. The system would also have to have onboard geoOF1 Based on these elements 3 data acquisitions have been flown. Seven flight lines were flown twice in 1998 and 16 lines flown in 1999. Total raw data is several GBytes. All of the data has now been geometrically corrected and some preliminary analysis accomplished. The thermal bands have an extremely high correlation with yield. For one@test case with corn, correlation in excess of 0.86 was obtained from a data acquisition two months prior to harvest! Soil images show significant within field variation in clay, soil brightness and emissivity. Light wind has been found to effect the reflectance and temperature of broad leaf crops, including soybeans, cotton and peanuts. Clearly, this work has already demonstrated some very important results. With continued development of the remote sensing technology there is good reason to believe this research will soon be able to help the individual farmer.
Document ID
Document Type
Conference Paper
Rickmanl, D. (NASA Marshall Space Flight Center Huntsville, AL United States)
Luvall, J. C. (NASA Marshall Space Flight Center Huntsville, AL United States)
Wersinger, J. M. (Auburn Univ. AL United States)
Mask, P. (Auburn Univ. AL United States)
Kissel, D. E. (Georgia Univ. United States)
Date Acquired
August 19, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 1999
Subject Category
Earth Resources and Remote Sensing
Meeting Information
1999 National Sensing Application Conference(Auburn, AL)
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.