This year the Australian Plant Phenomics Facility (APPF) partnered with the University of Adelaide’s Unmanned Research Aircraft Facility (URAF) here at the Waite to provide improved phenotyping capabilities to support Australia plant and agricultural scientists.
The researchers use sensors on board remotely piloted aircraft to monitor plant growth and vigour for agricultural and ecological research. Platforms range from multi-copters to fixed wing aircraft, carrying cameras and multispectral and thermal sensors.
Imagery captured produce GIS (geographic information system) layers used to integrate with field data to further develop relationships between plant growth, environmental conditions and plant treatment. The potential to measure parameters on field trials such as establishment, height, biomass, stress and nutritional status can be explored using this technology.
A recent episode on the youth science television show ‘Scope’ features the APPF field phenotyping capacity with Dr Ramesh Raja Segaran (Ecology & Environmental Science, University of Adelaide) from the research team here at Waite demonstrating the use of drones to investigate wheat tolerant of sodic soils. You can watch the episode here (the story commences at 16 min 19 sec)… https://tenplay.com.au/channel-eleven/scope/season-3/episode-131.