Vigilance has completed the second phase of its Hyperspectral Imaging Pilot. Hyperspectral Images contain up to thousands of small spectral bands to gain detailed information about the reflectance of the scene. This is in comparison to multi-spectral images, which contain far fewer bands. For example, hyperspectral images of agricultural plots can provide very precise information about the soil, minerals, humidity and the crops. Hyperspectral Imaging is therefore a very useful and promising instrument in precision agriculture.
In cooperation with DLV Plant, an independent advisory and research partner for the agricultural sector, Vigilance has been developing airborne hyperspectral Imaging for monitoring crop development. Vigilance’s airplane is equipped with two hyperspectral cameras, developed by Nova-Sol, that capture high-res images of agricultural plots. On the basis of the hyperspectral images, Vigilance can precisely identify plant growth, health and soil properties and is consequently able to develop a detailed fertilizing advice for the farmer. The advice is presented in the form of a colorized map of the plot, and complemented with GPS coordinates which the farmer can load into a computer-operated fertilizing machine. Using a web based Quality Management System, developed by DLV, it is possible to perform long-term analyses of agricultural plots, and keep track of the health of the land and its crops over extended periods of time. The QMS system also allows farmers to compare the performance of their plots with those of other farmers.
Thanks to the hyperspectral imaging, the farmer is able to efficiently control his crops. Fertilizer, nitrogen and pesticides can be applied locally and sparingly. As a result, hyperspectral imaging reduces the amount of resources needed, while at the same time significantly increasing the yield of the plots. Hyperspectral imaging is thus beneficial to both the agricultural entrepreneur, as well as the environment.
Hyperspectral Imaging offers a multitude of opportunities, and in future initiatives Vigilance will be able to apply crop monitoring in horticulture, silviculture, and countless other natural environments. Moreover, it can also be very beneficial in situations such as gas leaks, soil pollution and in the case early detection of deceases in crops.