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Smart Agriculture ›› 2021, Vol. 3 ›› Issue (3): 129-138.doi: 10.12133/j.smartag.2021.3.3.202105-SA008

• Intelligent Management and Control • Previous Articles     Next Articles

The Accuracy Differences of Using Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Images Monitoring Maize Plant Height at Different Growth Stages

YANG Jin(), MING Bo, YANG Fei, XU Honggen, LI Lulu, GAO Shang, LIU Chaowei, WANG Keru, LI Shaokun()   

  1. Institute of Crop Sciences, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences/Key Labrary of Crop Physiology and Ecology, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs, Beijing 100081, China
  • Received:2021-05-31 Revised:2021-08-08 Online:2021-09-30 Published:2021-09-30
  • corresponding author: LI Shaokun E-mail:1121506915@qq.com;lishaokun@caas.cn


The digital elevation model (DEM) of maize population in field was constructed by using optical imaging equipment mounted on unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) to study the accuracy difference of maize population height monitoring at different growth stages. Three cultivars and eight sowing date treatments were set up to structure maize population with different plant heights. A multi-rotor UAV with high-definition digital camera and multispectral imaging sensor was used to take RGB images and multispectral images in the experiment area on July 25th and August 27th, 2018, which were the biggest and smallest differences in plant height. The DEM data of maize population and canopy height were obtained with image pose correction, image mosaic, point cloud generation, and space reconstruction, et al. The canopy height and plant height were normalized, and the correlation between different cultivars and sowing date was analyzed based on UAV and manual plant height measurement. The feasibility of using DEM data of maize canopy to monitor the difference of plant height was clarified. The results showed that the height difference of maize population could be reflected by the digital elevation information obtained from high-definition RGB camera and multispectral camera. The plant height monitoring accuracy of HD RGB camera was higher than that of multispectral camera. However, the monitoring accuracy of plant height was not enough under the ready-made image equipment and treatment method. So, it was difficult to reflect the smaller plant height difference of maize population. Growth stage had a great influence on the monitoring of maize plant height. When the canopy of early growth stage has not completely covered the surface or the leaf yellow and withered in the later stage of growth. The plant height of the population affected by the exposed surface was seriously underestimated. In this study, the effects of UAV imaging equipment on monitoring maize plant height were analyzed. The influence factors can be used as reference for the application of the method in field production.

Key words: accuracy difference, UAV, monitoring plant height, maize, multispectral

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