AgScan3D+: New technologies for dynamic canopy and disease management
Harnessing the power of sophisticated sensor technologies to provide whole vineyard monitoring of canopy structure, nutritional and disease status, reducing costs, environmental impact and increasing productivity.
Wine Australia, CSIRO Agriculture & Food Business Unit, CSIRO’s Data61 Robotics and Autonomous System Group and the Quantitative Imaging Team and Fraunhofer Institute (Germany) are currently working in partnership to develop systems to assist growers in optimising the use of resources, including labour.
“CSIRO’s viticultural, robotics and image analysis expertise are being combined with expertise from Fraunhofer Institute, in Germany, to develop new sensor systems and data analytics required for the project”, Dr. Everard Edward, Project Leader and Chief Investigator says.
The systems provide data to define the structure, growth and canopy management which, in turn, determine whether a vineyard produces high value or commodity fruit and therefore, iconic or commercial wine.
The Robotics and Autonomous System team led by Dr. Peyman Moghadam (Joint Chief Investigator and AgTech Cluster Leader) is developing “AgScan3D+” a 3D Crop Condition Monitoring System.
AgScan3D+ is a spinning 3D LiDAR system that can be retrofitted to an existing farm vehicle and provides real time on-farm decision support by monitoring the condition of every plant in 3D such as their health, structure, any nutrient deficiency or stress, fruit quality, and more.
“AgScan3D+ uses CSIRO’s Data61 SLAM technology to estimate accurate positioning data in conjunction with globally consistent 3D point cloud as it moves in vineyards. We then turn those point clouds into information to determine canopy structural characteristics such as density, porosity, vigour and light penetration distribution”, says Dr Moghadam.
According to Dr Moghadam, the key benefits of the technology include early disease identification, reduced use of pesticides, real time precision management such as selective spraying, and real time continuous decision making to assist growers in better managing risks to productivity.
This project is supported by funding from the Australian Government Department of Agriculture and Water Resources as part of its Rural R&D for profit programme.
The Robotics and Autonomous System Group is extremely well positioned to deliver this type of project given its experience in the AgTech sector, as well as a highly skilled team which includes world class researchers and engineers.
Having the ability to demonstrate a suite of technologies in the agricultural domain, the Group is open to partnerships and collaborations for research, development, and commercialisation.