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Precision Agriculture

Precision agriculture (micro-management farming) is gaining momentum because of modern technology and verifiable results. In addition to its impact on agricultural (increasing crop yield) and economic outcomes (higher revenues per acre), precision agriculture facilitates better management of water, fertilizer/pesticides and other farming activities. AggieAir's high-resolution imagery, multi-spectral payload, and novel application processing capabilities make it particularly well-suited to applications in precision agriculture.

AggieAir is able to gather all of the necessary data for precision agriculture. Visual and near-infrared images are used to map crop types, yield information, and general plant health. Thermal infrared maps are used because of their good correlation with water stress and evapotranspiration. All three of these maps are vital for precision agriculture.
Visual Map of Center Pivot (15 cm resolution).
Near-Infrared Map of Center Pivot (15 cm resolution).
Thermal Infrared Map of Center Pivot (60 cm resolution).
The visual and near-infrared maps acquired by AggieAir are combined using simple arithmetic to generate index maps. These index maps can be used to spot specific areas in the field that might need extra attention. However, the data they contain is relative and does not have physical meaning. Therefore, they should not be used alone to decide which type of action (fertilize, water, etc.) should be taken at these areas. Instead they are used with the visual and near-infrared maps to generate other maps with physical information.
Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) Map of Center Pivot.
Leaf Area Index (LAI) Map of Center Pivot.
Using the visual and near-infrared imagery acquired by AggieAir, the index maps, and ground samples, Chlorophyll and Nitrogen maps are generated using a sophisticated computer algorithm developed here at Utah State University. This information can be used to show where and how much fertilizer to apply to fields, give predictions for crop yield, and show the general health of the crop.
Chlorophyll Map of Center Pivot Five Weeks After Germination.
Chlorophyll Map of Center Pivot During Early Flowering.
Nitrogen Map of Center Pivot Five Weeks After Germination.
Nitrogen Map of Center Pivot During Early Flowering.
The thermal infrared imagery adds critical information about water for precision agriculture. AggieAir thermal imagery is used to generate evapotranspiration maps, which can be used further to develop irrigation forecasts. Thermal imagery can also be used to generate soil moisture maps.
Evapotranspiration Map of Center Pivot.

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