Submitted to: Journal of Photogrammetric Engineering and Remote Sensing
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: January 7, 2003
Publication Date: June 1, 2003
Citation: MORAN, M.S., FITZGERALD, G.J., RANGO, A., WALTHALL, C.L., BARNES, E.M., BAUSCH, W.C., CLARKE, T.R., DAUGHTRY, C.S., EVERITT, J.H., HATFIELD, J.L. SENSOR DEVELOPMENT AND RADIOMETRIC CORRECTION FOR AGRICULTURAL APPLICATIONS v.69(6). p. 705-718. 1403. JOURNAL OF PHOTOGRAMMETRIC ENGINEERING AND REMOTE SENSING. 2003. Interpretive Summary: For decades, scientists working in USDA laboratories have been investigating the use of digital cameras for monitoring crop and rangeland condition. The sensors measure a range of surface parameters from surface reflectance to plant temperature to radar backscatter. They have been mounted on a range of platforms from satellites to helicopters to tractors. USDA scientists have been instrumental in the sensor design, calibration and deployment to ensure the suitability of these cameras for agricultural application. This review summarizes progress in sensor development and image correction for agricultural applications, with particular emphasis on USDA contributions. It also offers a number of avenues through which USDA could promote this research and increase the use of high technology. This offers both a view of past accomplishments and a vision of the research direction that would best advance sensor development for agricultural applications.
Technical Abstract: This review addresses the challenges and progress in sensor development and radiometric correction for agricultural applications with particular emphasis on activities within the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Agricultural Research Service (ARS). Examples of sensor development include on-site development of sensors and platforms, participation in cooperative research and development agreements (CRADA) with commercial companies, and membership on NASA science teams. Examples of progress made in sensor radiometric correction suitable for agriculture are presented for both laboratory and field environments. The direction of future sensor development includes integrated sensors and systems, sensor standardization, and new sensor technologies measuring fluorescence and soil electrical conductivity, and utilizing LIght Detection and Ranging (LIDAR), hyperspectral, and multiband thermal wavelengths. The upcoming challenges include definition of the core spectral regions for agriculture and the sensor specifications for a dedicated, orbiting agricultural sensor, determination of an operational approach for reflectance and temperature retrieval, and enhanced communication between image providers, research scientists and users. This review concludes with a number of avenues through which USDA could promote sensor development and radiometric correction for agricultural applications. These include developing a network of large permanent calibration targets at USDA ARS locations, investing in new technologies, pooling resources to support large scale field experiments, determining ARS-wide standards for sensor development, calibration and deployment, and funding interagency agreements to achieve common goals.