The research on monitoring and monitoring of agricultural lands with drones, which started in 2018 in cooperation with the Audi Environment Foundation and Heidelberg University, has started to yield its first results.
The fruit trees on an area of about 10 hectares, of which about 500 hectares are meadows, were tracked by drones, automatically classified and evaluated.
As a result of the comprehensive digital monitoring study, information such as the health status of the trees and targeted maintenance measures to improve their vitality were also obtained.
As a result of the data obtained from the drones, it was concluded that 20 percent of the existing fruit trees in the field need urgent care, about half of them need less care and 28 percent do not need care.
Two-thirds of the fruit trees on the land are apples and the rest are pear, walnut, plum and cherry trees. As a result of the observations, it was ensured that all trees in the field received proper care, such as regular pruning first. On the other hand, improving the vitality of the trees, protecting the habitats of domestic animals and insects, also helped to ensure the long-term biodiversity of the land.
Multispectral images to assess photosynthesis intensity
The biggest challenge during the project was the volume of data received from the drones. Taking a photo every two seconds, the drones sent about 120 images. Creating a valid overview from all this data also required serious computing power. Apart from drone images, other information that needed to be processed – for example, treetop density, deadwood ratio or length of new shoots – and aerial multispectral images were also included in the analysis. Thus, information was provided about the intensity of photosynthesis in trees.
Tree sponsorship via online database
Aiming at environmental education from the very beginning, the project also supports raising awareness about the educational concept and cultural landscape in schools, thanks to these results. With the publication of the results, interest in the project also increased. Residents of the region can sponsor and take care of fruit trees through a special platform. The platform, which also offers an online mapping service, also allows people to interact through a web-based geographic information system (WebGIS).
The project promotes individual participation and environmental education
Combining the use of modern technologies with a conservation mindset, this project of the Audi Environmental Foundation was an important example that combined scientific expertise with environmental education and individual participation. While the local people gain new knowledge through active participation, they also get rewarded for their work by collecting the fruits of the trees they sponsor.
Günceleme: 27/11/2022 13:01