Detection of water stress by drone and infrared thermography

Water stress analysis by drone and thermal infrared

Phenotyping Campaign 2017 – Detection of water deficit for the management of irrigation on a citrus plantation.

Results obtained from 3087 thermal images taken by the company Aaérodronescorse.
Post processing by Drones Imaging.

Détection du stress hydrique

On sensitive plants such as citrus, water deficit is a phenomenon that directly affects physiological variables. It results in a sharp decline in crop quality and yield.

If automatic irrigation is the first response to climate change and soil aridity, plantation irrigation methods and strategies have become an economic issue for farmers. In this context, the local Corsican agricultural community, in partnership with the companies Aerodronescorse and Drones Imaging, tested new technologies for the management of irrigation allowing rationalization of the inputs according to the needs of the crop.

Indeed, thanks to a thermal orthophography carried out on 17ha of orchard, the temperature measurements on the whole of the plot allowed to evaluate the water potential of the vegetal cover. They have proved very useful in identifying areas requiring more or less water. If this initial diagnosis already allows the operator to pilot its irrigation, other plantation overflights are already programmed at key stages for annual monitoring and accurate irrigation over time.

  • Source : Aerodronescorse companie.
  • Post processing : Drones Imaging companie.
  • Airborne platform : Drone MK.
  • Thermal camera : Optris PI 640.
  • Area : 17.5ha.
  • Thermal orthophoto : GSD 6cm.
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