Visible, Near Infrared, and Thermal Spectral Radiance On-Board UAVs for High-Throughput Phenotyping of Plant Breeding Trials

Authored by: Scott C. Chapman , Bangyou Zheng , Andries B. Potgieter , Wei Guo , Frederic Baret , Shouyang Liu , Simon Madec , Benoit Solan , Barbara George-Jaeggli , Graeme L. Hammer , David R. Jordan

Biophysical and Biochemical Characterization and Plant Species Studies

Print publication date:  December  2018
Online publication date:  December  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138364714
eBook ISBN: 9780429431180
Adobe ISBN:


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Phenotyping in breeding trials is the basis for the selection of new varieties of food, feed, and fiber crops that support the continued growth of world population. In addition to economic yield, breeders measure many phenotypes (also called traits) associated with the adaptation of these crops, such as the time of flowering, the height of the crop canopy, and the development of the canopy as it grows to maximum size and then senesces late in the season. The rapidly decreasing costs, and the convenience of use of UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles) is providing plant breeders with new tools with which to estimate some of the traits that are traditionally measured. With appropriate sets of measurements, it is possible to also estimate more complex traits, for example, the radiation use efficiency (RUE) of a crop can be estimated when it is possible to track the change in light interception over time. Visual, thermal, and multispectral cameras are key tools in monitoring crops by UAV, with LIDAR and hyperspectral instruments starting to come into use as they become sufficiently miniaturized.

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