Biography

I am a researcher and expert for utilizing unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) and unmanned ground vehicles (UGV) for sensor measurements in agriculture. I focus amongst others on hyperspectral remote sensing, photogrammetry, image processing, geo-information, programming, prototyping, and multivariate statistics. My field of research comprises both grain and forage production.

CV

Competences: 
Multi- and hyperspectral remote sensing in agriculture, UAV, UGV, GNSS, GIS, sensor web, mapping, 3D modelling, multivariate and geo-statistics, programming, prototyping

Education: 
2012-2016: Dr. sc. agr. (Ph.D.) in Agricultural Sciences at the Institute of Crop Science, Department of Agronomy, University of Hohenheim, Germany

2009-2012: M.Sc. in Geoinformatics at the Institute for Geoinformatics, University of Münster, Germany

2005-2009: Dipl.-Ing. (FH) in Surveying Engineering and Geoinformatics at the University of Applied Sciences Würzburg-Schweinfurt, Germany

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Abstract

This paper describes a tool that enables farmers to time harvests and target nitrogen (N) inputs in their forage production, according to the prevailing yield potential. Based on an existing grass growth model for forage yield estimation, a more detailed process-based model was developed, including a new nitrogen module. The model was tested using data from an experiment conducted in a grassland-rich region in central Norway and showed promising accuracy with estimated root mean square error (RMSE) of 50 and 130 g m-2 for dry matter yield in the trial. Three parameters were detected as highly sensitive to model output: initial value of organic N in the soil, fraction of humus in the initial organic N in the soil, and fraction of decomposed N mineralized. By varying these parameters within a range from 0.5 to 1.5 of their respective initial value, most of the within-field variation was captured. In a future step, remotely sensed information on model output will be included, and in-season model correction will be performed through re-calibration of the highly sensitive parameters.

Abstract

This study investigated the potential of in-season airborne hyperspectral imaging for the calibration of robust forage yield and quality estimation models. An unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) and a hyperspectral imager were used to capture canopy reflections of a grass-legume mixture in the range of 450 nm to 800 nm. Measurements were performed over two years at two locations in Southeast and Central Norway. All images were subject to radiometric and geometric corrections before being processed to ortho-images, carrying canopy reflectance information. The data (n = 707) was split in two, using half the data for model calibration and the remaining half for validation. Several powered partial least squares regression (PPLSR) models were fitted to the reflectance data to estimate fresh (FM) and dry matter (DM) yields, as well as crude protein (CP), dry matter digestibility (DMD), neutral detergent fibre (NDF), and indigestible neutral detergent fibre (iNDF) content. Prediction performance of these models was compared with the prediction performance of simple linear regression (SLR) models, which were based on selected vegetation indices and plant height. The highest prediction accuracies for general models, based on the pooled data, were achieved by means of PPLSR, with relative root-mean-square errors of validation of 14.2% (2550 kg FM ha−1), 15.2% (555 kg DM ha−1), 11.7% (1.32 g CP 100 g−1 DM), 2.4% (1.71 g DMD 100 g−1 DM), 4.8% (2.72 g NDF 100 g−1 DM), and 12.8% (1.32 g iNDF 100 g−1 DM) for the prediction of FM, DM, CP, DMD, NDF, and iNDF content, respectively. None of the tested SLR models achieved acceptable prediction accuracies.

Abstract

Today’s modern precision agriculture applications have a huge demand for data with high spatial and temporal resolution. This leads to the need of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) as sensor platforms providing both, easy use and a high area coverage. This study shows the successful development of a prototype hybrid UAV for practical applications in precision agriculture. The UAV consists of an off-the-shelf fixed-wing fuselage, which has been enhanced with multi-rotor functionality. It was programmed to perform pre-defined waypoint missions completely autonomously, including vertical take-off, horizontal flight, and vertical landing. The UAV was tested for its return-to-home (RTH) accuracy, power consumption and general flight performance at different wind speeds. The RTH accuracy was 43.7 cm in average, with a root-mean-square error of 39.9 cm. The power consumption raised with an increase in wind speed. An extrapolation of the analysed power consumption to conditions without wind resulted in an estimated 40 km travel range, when we assumed a 25 % safety margin of remaining battery capacity. This translates to a maximal area coverage of 300 ha for a scenario with 18 m/s airspeed, 50 minutes flight time, 120 m AGL altitude, and a desired 70 % of image side-lap and 85 % forward-lap. The ground sample distance with an in-built RGB camera was 3.5 cm, which we consider sufficient for farm-scale mapping missions for most precision agriculture applications.

Abstract

In this study, we investigated the potential of airborne imaging spectroscopy for in-season grassland yield estimation. We utilized an unmanned aerial vehicle and a hyperspectral imager to measure radiation, ranging from 455 to 780 nm. Initially, we assessed the spectral signature of five typical grassland species by principal component analysis, and identified a distinct reflectance difference, especially between the erectophil grasses and the planophil clover leaves. Then, we analyzed the reflectance of a typical Norwegian sward composition at different harvest dates. In order to estimate yields (dry matter, DM), several powered partial least squares (PPLS) regression and linear regression (LR) models were fitted to the reflectance data and prediction performance of these models were compared with that of simple LR models, based on selected vegetation indices and plant height. We achieved the highest prediction accuracies by means of PPLS, with relative errors of prediction from 9.1 to 11.8% (329 to 487 kg DM ha−1) for the individual harvest dates and 14.3% (558 kg DM ha−1) for a generalized model.

ef-20080906-121830

Division of Biotechnology and Plant Health

SOLUTIONS: New solutions for potato canopy desiccation, control of weeds and runners in field strawberries & weed control in apple orchards


Efficient measures for weed control and similar challenges are vital to avoid crop loss in agriculture. National supply of food, feed and other agricultural products depends on each farmer’s success managing their fields and orchards. The recent loss of the herbicide diquat, and the potential ban on glyphosate, - both important tools for farmers -, raise a demand for new measures for vegetation control. Efficient alternatives to herbicides are also important tools in Integrated Pest Management (IPM). Norwegian growers need to document compliance to IPM since 2015 to ensure minimum hazards to health and environment from pesticide use.

Active Updated: 27.09.2021
End: dec 2024
Start: jan 2021