Precision agriculture (PA) constitutes one of the most critical sectors of remote sensing applications that allow obtaining spatial segmentation and within-field variability information from field crops. In the last decade, an increasing source of information is provided by unmanned aerial vehicle (UAVs) platforms, mainly equipped with optical multispectral cameras, to map, monitor, and analyze, temporal and spatial variations of vegetation using ad hoc spectral vegetation indices (VIs). Considering the centimeter or sub-centimeter spatial resolution of UAV imagery, the geographic object-based image analysis (GEOBIA) approach, is becoming prevalent in UAV remote sensing applications. In the present paper, we propose a quick and reliable semi-automatic workflow implemented to process multispectral UAV imagery and aimed at the detection and extraction of olive and citrus trees’ crowns to obtain vigor maps in the framework of PA. We focused our attention on the choice of GEOBIA data input and parameters, taking into consideration its replicability and reliability in the case of heterogeneous tree orchards. The heterogeneity concerns the different tree plantation distances and composition, different crop management (irrigation, pruning, weeding), and different tree age, height, and crown diameters. The proposed GEOBIA workflow was implemented in the eCognition Developer 9.5, coupling the use of multispectral and topographic information surveyed using the Tetracam µ-MCA06 snap multispectral camera at 4 cm of ground sample distance (GSD). Three different study sites in heterogeneous citrus (Bergamot and Clementine) and olive orchards located in the Calabria region (Italy) were provided. Multiresolution segmentation was implemented using spectral and topographic band layers and optimized by applying a trial-and-error approach. The classification step was implemented as process-tree and based on a rule set algorithm, therefore easily adaptable and replicable to other datasets. Decision variables for image classification were spectral vegetation indices (NDVI, SAVI, CVI) and topographic layers (DSM and CHM). Vigor maps were based on NDVI and NDRE and allowed to highlight those areas with low vegetative vigor. The accuracy assessment was based on a per-pixel approach and computed through the F-score (F). The obtained results are promising, considering that the resulting accuracy was high, with F-score ranging from 0.85 to 0.91 for olive and bergamot, respectively. Our proposed workflow, which has proved effective in datasets of different complexity, finds its strong point is the speed of execution and on its repeatability to other different crops with few adjustments. It appears worth of interest to highlights that it requests a working day of two good skilled operators in geomatics and computer image processing, from the on-field data collection to the obtaining of vigor maps.

Monitoring the vegetation vigor in heterogeneous citrus and olive orchards. A multiscale object-based approach to extract trees’ crowns from UAV multispectral imagery

Modica G.
;
Messina G.;De Luca G.;Pratico S.
2020-01-01

Abstract

Precision agriculture (PA) constitutes one of the most critical sectors of remote sensing applications that allow obtaining spatial segmentation and within-field variability information from field crops. In the last decade, an increasing source of information is provided by unmanned aerial vehicle (UAVs) platforms, mainly equipped with optical multispectral cameras, to map, monitor, and analyze, temporal and spatial variations of vegetation using ad hoc spectral vegetation indices (VIs). Considering the centimeter or sub-centimeter spatial resolution of UAV imagery, the geographic object-based image analysis (GEOBIA) approach, is becoming prevalent in UAV remote sensing applications. In the present paper, we propose a quick and reliable semi-automatic workflow implemented to process multispectral UAV imagery and aimed at the detection and extraction of olive and citrus trees’ crowns to obtain vigor maps in the framework of PA. We focused our attention on the choice of GEOBIA data input and parameters, taking into consideration its replicability and reliability in the case of heterogeneous tree orchards. The heterogeneity concerns the different tree plantation distances and composition, different crop management (irrigation, pruning, weeding), and different tree age, height, and crown diameters. The proposed GEOBIA workflow was implemented in the eCognition Developer 9.5, coupling the use of multispectral and topographic information surveyed using the Tetracam µ-MCA06 snap multispectral camera at 4 cm of ground sample distance (GSD). Three different study sites in heterogeneous citrus (Bergamot and Clementine) and olive orchards located in the Calabria region (Italy) were provided. Multiresolution segmentation was implemented using spectral and topographic band layers and optimized by applying a trial-and-error approach. The classification step was implemented as process-tree and based on a rule set algorithm, therefore easily adaptable and replicable to other datasets. Decision variables for image classification were spectral vegetation indices (NDVI, SAVI, CVI) and topographic layers (DSM and CHM). Vigor maps were based on NDVI and NDRE and allowed to highlight those areas with low vegetative vigor. The accuracy assessment was based on a per-pixel approach and computed through the F-score (F). The obtained results are promising, considering that the resulting accuracy was high, with F-score ranging from 0.85 to 0.91 for olive and bergamot, respectively. Our proposed workflow, which has proved effective in datasets of different complexity, finds its strong point is the speed of execution and on its repeatability to other different crops with few adjustments. It appears worth of interest to highlights that it requests a working day of two good skilled operators in geomatics and computer image processing, from the on-field data collection to the obtaining of vigor maps.
2020
Precision Agriculture (PA)
Geographic object-based image analysis (GEOBIA)
Multiresolution segmentation
Multispectral unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) imagery
Spectral Vegetation Indices (VIs)
Vigor maps
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/20.500.12318/63796
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