Use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) Imagery in Phenotyping of Bambara Groundnut

  •  Tengku Adhwa Syaherah Tengku Mohd Suhairi    
  •  Siti Sarah Mohd Sinin    
  •  Eranga M. Wimalasiri    
  •  Nur Marahaini Mohd Nizar    
  •  Anil Shekar Tharmandran    
  •  Ebrahim Jahanshiri    
  •  Peter J. Gregory    
  •  Sayed N. Azam-Ali    


In this experiment, proximal measurements and Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) imagery was used to determine growth stages for bambara groundnut (Vigna subterranea (L.) Verdc.). The crop is a high potential crop due to its ability to yield in marginal environments, but neglected and underutilised due to lack of information on its growth in different environments. This study evaluated the correlation between Normalised Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) derived from the ground as well as airborne sensors to test the ability of remotely sensed data to identify growth stages. NDVI and chlorophyll content of bambara groundnut leaves were measured at ground level at 18, 32, 46 and 88 days after planting (DAP) comprising vegetative, flowering, pod formation and maturity growth stages. The UAV imagery for the experimental plots was acquired with 0.2m resolution at maturity. The result showed a significant (p < 0.05) linear relationship between proximal NDVI and chlorophylls content at all growth stages ofgrowth. The R2 varied from 0.57 in the vegetative stage to 0.78 in the flowering stage. Furthermore, NDVI derived from proximal measurements and UAV data showed a significant (p < 0.05) correlation. The observed high correlation between proximal sensors, UAV data and crop parameters suggest that remote sensing technologies can be used for rapid phenotyping to hasten the development of models to assess the performance of underutilised crops for food and nutrition security.

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