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ARS Home » Plains Area » College Station, Texas » Southern Plains Agricultural Research Center » Aerial Application Technology Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #321300

Research Project: Aerial Application Technology for Sustainable Crop Production

Location: Aerial Application Technology Research

Title: A low-cost dual-camera imaging system for aerial applicators

Author
item Yang, Chenghai
item Hoffmann, Wesley

Submitted to: Agricultural Aviation
Publication Type: Popular Publication
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/10/2015
Publication Date: 10/20/2015
Citation: Yang, C., Hoffmann, W.C. 2015. A low-cost dual-camera imaging system for aerial applicators. Agricultural Aviation. 42(5):44-47.

Interpretive Summary: Agricultural aircraft provide a readily available remote sensing platform as low-cost, easy-to-use consumer-grade cameras are being increasingly used for aerial imaging. In this article, we report on a dual-camera imaging system we recently assembled that can capture RGB and near-infrared (NIR) images simultaneously. We first demonstrate how to use off-the-shelf electronics to assemble such a system that can be attached to an agricultural aircraft for image acquisition. Then we illustrate how to use free image processing software to process images of crop fields for assessing crop growth conditions. This imaging system will provide a useful tool for aerial applicators to quickly assess crop conditions and detect crop pests for effective aerial application.

Technical Abstract: Agricultural aircraft provide a readily available remote sensing platform as low-cost and easy-to-use consumer-grade cameras are being increasingly used for aerial imaging. In this article, we report on a dual-camera imaging system we recently assembled that can capture RGB and near-infrared (NIR) images simultaneously. We first demonstrate how to use off-the-shelf electronics to assemble such a system that can be attached to an agricultural aircraft for image acquisition. Then we illustrate how to use free geographic information system (GIS) and image processing software to create color-infrared (CIR) composite images and the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) from the RGB and NIR images from a cropping area. This imaging system will provide a useful tool for aerial applicators to quickly assess crop conditions and detect crop pests for effective aerial application.