Sensors are an integral part of horticulture research and contribute to the generation of increasingly large volumes of data.
AVR horticulture researchers have been testing light detection and ranging (LiDAR) sensors for several applications in stone and pome fruit crops e.g., in situ fruit location in tree canopies and canopy light interception using a solar position model combined with spatial location of leaves and wood.
More recently, a Cartographer™ (mobile sensorised platform) equipped with high-resolution imaging sensors, 3D LiDAR, GPS and infrared temperature sensors has been commissioned at the Tatura SmartFarm. Powerful machine learning (ML) algorithms are used to analyse significantly high volumes of data from the LiDAR instrument on this mobile platform to provide measures of tree height canopy density and structure. The researchers will be expanding this to estimate canopy light interception, trunk diameter and annual tree growth.