An Invitation to Australian Plant Scientists

The APPF invites expressions of interest from plant scientists wishing to undertake pilot projects using the new field phenotyping system during the 2020 growing season in South Australia.

Republished from the Australian Plant Phenomics Facility website.

Background The Plant Accelerator® is a cutting-edge plant phenotyping facility located at the APPF’s Adelaide node at the Waite Campus of the University of Adelaide. The facility offers modern plant growth environments and state-of-the-art high-throughput automated imaging and computing technologies to monitor the performance of plants under different environmental conditions (e.g. which genotype performs best under drought stress). The APPF will soon have a new ground based field phenotyping capability to complement the APPF Phenomobile.

In 2020 we expanded our existing phenotyping capabilities by supporting CropTraits and Phenokey to develop the FieldExplorer. The FieldExplorer combines LiDAR with visible-near infrared (VNIR) and short-wave infrared (SWIR) hyperspectral imaging and high resolution RGB imaging. Hyperspectral imaging in the field is challenging by being dependent on reflected sunlight and hence time of day and cloud cover.

A major advantage of the FieldExplorer is sensors are contained within an imaging cabinet with supplemental illumination providing consistent imaging conditions throughout the day regardless of cloud cover. A key element is the advanced image-data acquisition, fusion and processing software platform.

This software is capable of automated and asynchronous acquisition of imaging data from different sensors, providing capacity to fuse the results, resulting in integration of datasets. Basic plot level parameters are calculated as standard and high quality hyperspectral data produced that can be used for the development of algorithms to predict a multitude of physiological parameters.

Pilot Project Examples

Opportunities to use the platform for pilot projects include:

  1. Undertaking pilot studies to support future grant applications.
  2. Undertaking new experiments or developing new protocols to add value to related research.
  3. Replicating previously completed experiments using the new platform to validate hypotheses.


Applications from all plant scientists undertaking field trials in South Australia will be considered. However, field trials outside of South Australia will also be considered where suitable transport plans can be arranged.

EMCRs are strongly encouraged to apply.

Conditions of Funding

  1. Expressions of interest must be submitted by 9 April 2020 using the attached form.
  2. Pilot projects must be undertaken in the 2020 growing season.
  3. Successful applicants must provide a short project report (using the template provided) within three months of project completion (i.e. from day of receipt of analysed FieldExplorer data).
  4. Whilst the intellectual property will be owned by the client, the APPF will be entitled to release information about the pilot project output / data (e.g. the report provided by the applicant) on its website and/or other public domains.


  1. Assessment: Pilot project applications will be evaluated based on the scientific quality of the project and ability to contribute calibration data to validate FieldExplorer outputs.
  2. Pricing: FieldExplorer use for approved pilot projects is free.


For further questions please contact

Applications / Expressions of Interest

Deadline: 9 April 2020

Expressions of interest must be submitted using the attached form by email to

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