The High Resolution Plant Phenomics Centre
Instrument platforms in and above the field
The Phenomobile is designed to integrate a range of remote sensing technologies for phenomics field measurements at the plot scale.
Purpose-built for the High Resolution Plant Phenomics Centre (HRPPC) by Tatura Engineering, the buggy is designed to straddle a plot and collect measurements of canopy temperature, crop stress indices, crop chemometrics, canopy volume, biomass and crop ground cover.
A stereo-imaging rig is currently under development to reconstruct a three-dimensional (3D) image of the plot providing information pertaining to canopy volume, mean plant height and density.
The Phenomobile was recently completed and will be put through its paces during the summer months.
From 16 metres above the crop canopy the Phenotower collects infra-red thermography and colour imagery of field plots.
This data is used for spatial comparison of canopy temperature, leaf greenness and groundcover between genotypes at a single point in time.
For imaging an entire field at one point in time, a 6 m tethered blimp able to lift three kg is currently under development.
As an aerial imaging platform, the blimp will carry both infrared and digital colour cameras operating in a height range of 10 m to 80 m above the field.
The infra-red thermography and colour images will identify the relative differences in canopy temperature indicating plant water use, an important trait to understand.
The blimp's position can be guided via a remote control which also has the capability of adjusting the blimp's cameras.