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Smart Agriculture ›› 2020, Vol. 2 ›› Issue (3): 118-128.doi: 10.12133/j.smartag.2020.2.3.202006-SA001

• Information Processing and Decision Making • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Estimation Method of Leaf Area Index for Summer Maize Using UAV-Based Multispectral Remote Sensing

SHAO Guomin1(), WANG Yajie1, HAN Wenting1,2()   

  1. 1.College of Mechanical and Electronic Engineering, Northwest A&F University, Yangling 712100, China
    2.Institute of Soil and Water Conservation, Northwest A&F University, Yangling 712100, China
  • Received:2020-06-02 Revised:2020-08-01 Online:2020-09-30


Maize is an important food crop in China. In order to quickly and non-destructively estimate summer maize leaf area index (LAI) under different water stress conditions, in this study, maize samples with multiple irrigation treatments throughout the growth period were used for modeling analysis. Then, based on the unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) multi-spectral remote sensing technology, combined with the summer maize LAI collected in the field during the same period, five kinds of vegetation indices, including the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI), soil adjusted vegetation index (SAVI), enhanced vegetation index (EVI), green normalized difference vegetation index (GNDVI) and visible atmospherically resistant index (VARI) were selected in this research as model input parameters, and random forest regression algorithm was used to establish the relationship between the field maize canopy vegetation indices and LAI under different irrigation conditions during the entire growth period. The accuracies of the model were compared with that of the model established by the university linear regression and multiple linear regression algorithms. The results showed that under sufficient irrigation condition, the vegetation index using multiple linear regression model could well (R2 = 0.83, RMSE = 0.05) estimate LAI; under water stress conditions, the vegetation index using random forest regression model could well estimate LAI (R2 = 0.74~0.87, RMSE = 0.02~0.10), water stress factors had little effect on the random forest regression model, and NDVI and VARI contributed the LAI estimation model better. The spatial distribution map of LAI was generated based on the random forest regression algorithm. The above results showed that it was feasible to use the random forest regression algorithm to estimate the summer maize LAI under various irrigation conditions based on the UAV multi-spectral remote sensing technology. The results indicates that the model established has a good applicability. This research can provide technical and method support for the rapid and accurate monitoring of field summer maize LAI under different irrigation conditions during the entire growth period.

Key words: UAV, leaf area index, vegetation index, multispectral, water stress, random forest regression

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