California company VineView's new hyperspectral airborne sensor is helping growers produce better grapes by detecting specific diseases, irrigation stress and nutrient deficiencies.
Leafroll is a disease that is affecting grapevines all over the world, and VineView is trying to detect it early because losses to vineyards can be costly in terms of reduced yield, shortened vineyard life span and decreased fruit quality. To better map the spread of leafroll disease, VineView recently added a Headwall Photonics VNIR E-series hyperspectral camera system, which has a spectral range of 400 nm to 1000 nm. The company has integrated the sensor with an existing inertial measurement unit (IMU) and Global Positioning System (GPS) equipment to advance its aerial imaging capabilities.
VineView collects aerial images from a Turbo Cessna 182 airplane at speeds exceeding 100 knots from 5,000 to 18,000 feet, taking 100 images per second in push-broom fashion to create a 3-D “image cube” with spatial information in the x-y plane and spectral information in the z direction. The way it works is that there are detectable changes in leaf reflectance in the visible to near-infrared portion of the spectrum for both symptomatic and pre-symptomatic leafroll infected vines. VineView analyzes the spectral patterns for each vine to detect the presence of leafroll virus and identifies symptomatic and pre-symptomatic vines.
Image courtesy of VineView.