David Sparks Ph.d Star Wars in your Fields
by David Sparks Ph.d, click here for bio

Program: Line on Agriculture
Date: September 21, 2017

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Listen to the words of University of Missouri plant researcher Gui DiSousa as he describes technologies that enable him to monitor plant reaction to environmental conditions 24/7. "We have higher resolution cameras so even if the plant is a little further away, we are hoping we can estimate the angle of the leaf and see if the leaf is going down because of the heat or the drought and how the family is behaving with respect to the stress. And then the tower can also tell the mobile robot to go to that specific area and collect specific information from the individual plant. So the robot goes to the area, has three sets of sensors. One at the very top of the canopy, about 2 m high, the second half way and the third close to the ground. We can measure each one of those groups and get five different wavelengths of light intensity specific to photosynthesis. Some more related to heat and solar radiation. We have sensors that measure humidity, temperature, three different levels because of the density of the plants, the temperature at those heights are very different. The light intensity is very different. In a very dense plantation, the light doesn’t go down and the leaves are going to respond to that. Are they going to produce less because they have less light or are they going to produce the same. The robot has also has a robotic arm so it holds a 3-D sensor so it can move around the plant and then create a 3-D model.”

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