THE SKY TO SCAN RISEHOLME CROPS
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at the University of Lincoln are to use Japanese technology on board a
NASA satellite technology to analyse crops growing at Riseholme
Park near Lincoln.
agreed to use the Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection
Radiometer (ASTER) sensor on board its TERRA satellite to scan crops at
will be collected and analysed by PhD student Ian Davis with the aim of helping
farmers to accurately predict cereal crop yields.
“Having grown up in Lincolnshire
I have always had an interest in farming and wanted to develop a technique
which would potentially benefit the farming community,” said Ian. “Whilst
studying for a degree in IT with the Open University I did a lot of research
into satellite imagery and how it can be used to detect water, land and
vegetation. I am now undertaking a PhD at the University of Lincoln
concentrating on developing satellite crop analyse techniques even further.”
The NASA satellite obtains
high-resolution images of the Earth in 14 different wavelengths of the
electromagnetic spectrum, ranging from visible to thermal infrared light. This data
is used to create detailed maps of the land surface.
taken of crops at Riseholme during the growing season will be compared to the
eventual yield using computers to recognise patterns within the data.
Professor Graeme Wilkinson, Dean of
the Faculty of Technology at the University
of Lincoln said: “We also
want to be able to predict areas within fields of lower than expected yield
during the growing season to enable the farmer to selectively apply irrigation,
pesticides or fertilizers. Precision farming is more cost effective for the
farmer and better for the environment.”
Wilkinson is a graduate of Imperial College London and Oxford University
with 28 years of research experience in remote sensing. From 1988 to 1997 he
was Sector Head for Advanced Methods at the Space Applications Institute of the
EU Joint Research Centre in Ispra,
in data fusion and classification.
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