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A Novel Methodology for Improving Plant Pest Surveillance in Vineyards and Crops Using UAV-Based Hyperspectral and Spatial Data

Recent advances in remote sensed imagery and geospatial image processing using unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) have enabled the rapid and ongoing development of monitoring tools for crop management and the detection/surveillance of insect pests. This paper describes a (UAV) remote sensing-based methodology to increase the efficiency of existing surveillance practices (human inspectors and insect traps) for detecting pest infestations (e.g., grape phylloxera in vineyards). The methodology uses a UAV integrated with advanced digital hyperspectral, multispectral, and RGB sensors.

We implemented the methodology for the development of a predictive model for phylloxera detection. In this method, we explore the combination of airborne RGB, multispectral, and hyperspectral imagery with ground-based data at two separate time periods and under different levels of phylloxera infestation. We describe the technology used—the sensors, the UAV, and the flight operations—the processing workflow of the datasets from each imagery type, and the methods for combining multiple airborne with ground-based datasets. Finally, we present relevant results of correlation between the different processed datasets.

The objective of this research is to develop a novel methodology for collecting, processing, analysing and integrating multispectral, hyperspectral, ground and spatial data to remote sense different variables in different applications, such as, in this case, plant pest surveillance. The development of such methodology would provide researchers, agronomists, and UAV practitioners reliable data collection protocols and methods to achieve faster processing techniques and integrate multiple sources of data in diverse remote sensing applications.


Fernando Vanegas, Dmitry Bratanov, Kevin Powell, John Weiss, Felipe Gonzalez

Published in:

Sensors 2018, 18(1), 260


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