Canopy characterization is a key factor to improve pesticide application methods in tree crops and vineyards. Development of quick, easy and efficient methods to determine the fundamental parameters used to characterize canopy structure is thus an important need. In this research the use of ultrasonic and LIDAR sensors have been compared with the traditional manual and destructive canopy measurement procedure. For both methods the values of key parameters such as crop height, crop width, crop volume or leaf area have been compared. Obtained results indicate that an ultrasonic sensor is an appropriate tool to determine the average canopy characteristics, while a LIDAR sensor provides more accuracy and detailed information about the canopy. Good correlations have been obtained between crop volume (CVU) values measured with ultrasonic sensors and leaf area index, LAI (R2 = 0.51). A good correlation has also been obtained between the canopy volume measured with ultrasonic and LIDAR sensors (R2 = 0.52). Laser measurements of crop height (CHL) allow one to accurately predict the canopy volume. The proposed new technologies seems very appropriate as complementary tools to improve the efficiency of pesticide applications, although further improvements are still needed.
Llorens, J., Gil, E., Llop, J., & Escolà, A. (2011). Ultrasonic and LIDAR sensors for electronic canopy characterization in vineyards: Advances to improve pesticide application methods. Sensors, 11(2), 2177–2194. https://doi.org/10.3390/s110202177