Real-time mapping of plant water stress at vineyards and orchards enables optimal irrigation control that can produce high quality fruit and target yield of grapevines and tree fruits. This project used infrared thermography onboard an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) to map high-resolution plant water stress over a commercial vineyard and an orchard in Victoria. Innovative blending of visible and near infrared imagery with the thermography accurately mapped water stress for individual grapevines and fruit trees. This project demonstrated capability of UAV-borne thermal infrared sensing in mapping high-resolution crop water stress over horticultural crops. The demonstrated technology can be readily applied to upscale the conventional ground-based water stress measurements to the large-scale horticultural enterprises accurately.

Video lecture

Dr Mark O'Connell (Agriculture Victoria) discusses the Seed Innovation Fund (for Horticulture Development) project  - Low cost infrared thermography and UAV for rapid detection of plant water stress.

7 minutes

Research papers

- Collaboration between University of Melbourne and Agriculture Victoria (Funded by the Innovation Seed fund  for Horticulture Development initiative)

Adaptive Estimation of Crop Water Stress in Nectarine and Peach Orchards Using High-Resolution Imagery from an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV)

Mapping Very-High-Resolution Evapotranspiration from Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) Imagery

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