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ARS Home » Plains Area » Fort Collins, Colorado » Center for Agricultural Resources Research » Water Management and Systems Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #356559

Research Project: Improving the Sustainability of Irrigated Farming Systems in Semi-Arid Regions

Location: Water Management and Systems Research

Title: Simple background subtraction of thermal imagery for crop water stress detection in greenhouse

Author
item Dejonge, Kendall
item Zhang, Huihui
item Gleason, Sean

Submitted to: Applied Engineering in Agriculture
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/20/2019
Publication Date: 5/8/2019
Citation: Dejonge, K.C., Zhang, H., Gleason, S.M. 2019. Simple background subtraction of thermal imagery for crop water stress detection in greenhouse. Applied Engineering in Agriculture. vol. 35(3): pp.339-344. https://doi.org/10.13031/aea.13090.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.13031/aea.13090

Interpretive Summary: This study demonstrates a simple technique that uses a homogeneous background temperature that contrasts with canopy temperature, thereby allowing the canopy temperature itself to be isolated in a thermal image. Analysis of pixel temperatures and their associated statistics demonstrate the potential of this method to measure small (ca. < 0.5 °C) and rapid (ca. < 1 s) fluctuations in leaf energy balance. This technique has broad applicability in greenhouse, growth chamber, and other small-scale experiments where real time response of individual leaves or canopies is required.

Technical Abstract: While infrared thermometry and thermal imagery have potential to detect crop water stress and quantify evapotranspiration, both valuable in irrigation scheduling, it is often difficult to isolate plant canopy temperature from background temperatures. In this study, we demonstrate a simple technique that uses a homogeneous background temperature that contrasts with canopy temperature, thereby allowing the canopy temperature itself to be isolated in a thermal image. Analysis of pixel temperatures and their associated statistics demonstrate the potential of this method to measure small (ca. < 0.5 °C) and rapid (ca. < 1 s) fluctuations in leaf energy balance. This technique has broad applicability in greenhouse, growth chamber, and other small-scale experiments where real time response of individual leaves or canopies is required.