The research plot shown above displays multiple different types of crops with various amendments from August 20th, 2021. The middle and back right corner are corn and the rest are different variations of cotton. The point cloud data makes it easy to visualize the height, biomass, and overall plant coverage.
Cary McCraine is a Research Engineer with the Geosystems Research Institute at Mississippi State University. McCraine is in a support role for research associates and professors and takes the data collected from remote sensing and processes it in a format that can be used for research purposes.
MSU procured GeoCue's True View 410 3DIS back in 2020 and recently purchased the True View 515. "We will continue working on the same vegetation and crop projects with the new system, but I would like to work with local power companies to survey transmission lines and take full advantage of what the new sensor has to offer."
Yield Prediction for Crops – True View 410
Currently, their main projects are with ARS (Agricultural Research Services) a part of the USDA. They have been working with LIDAR data from GeoCue's True View 410 (and soon the True View 515) to see if they can create yield predictions for crops. Their focus is to look at the all-encompassing umbrella of plant health, soil health and moisture, height, growth rate, etc. Afterward, they take this information and try to tie it into other UAS remotely sensed data to create prediction models. They have worked on numerous projects including canopy height models, erosion studies and have worked with local engineering firms to measure and survey a new runway extension at a local airport and measured the volume of the county lake's dry lakebed for dam requirement calculations.
McCraine states, "UAVs in general are not only up and coming, but a pathway to the future. Photogrammetry, while good, only gets you so far accuracy wise. Using an active sensor is more reliable and yields better results. It's important for universities to stay on the forefront of technology and working with GeoCue allows us to do that."
From the GRI Blog: "The UAS team here at GRI has been using the GeoCue TrueView 410 for almost two years and it has been a valuable addition to our suite of sensors. We recently acquired the GeoCue TrueView 515 which is proving to be an even more robust LiDAR system for our needs. Some of the improvements from the 410 to the 515 include a faster scan rate which leads to a higher point density under the same flight parameters. It has better canopy penetration and is more sensitive to small targets such as wires and fences. While the 410 has served us well and we will continue to use it in specific cases, the 515 is opening new doors for our UAS teams, such as transmission line detection and increased topographical mapping abilities."