Document Type

Conference Paper

Journal/Book Title/Conference

Autonomous Air and Ground Sensing Systems for Agricultural Optimization and Phenotyping III




International Society for Optical Engineering


Orlando, FL

Publication Date


Award Number

NASA, National Aeronautics and Space Administration NNX17AF51G


NASA, National Aeronautics and Space Administration

First Page


Last Page



Small, unmanned aerial systems (sUAS) for remote sensing represent a relatively new and growing technology to support decisions for agricultural operations. The size and power limitations of these systems present challenges for the weight, size, and capability of the sensors that can be carried, as well as the geographical coverage that is possible. These factors, together with a lack of standards for sensor technology, its deployment, and data analysis, lead to uncertainties in data quality that can be difficult to detect or characterize. These, in turn, limit comparability between data from different sources and, more importantly, imply limits on the analyses that can be accomplished with the data that are acquired with sUAS. This paper offers a simple statistical examination of the implications toward information products of an array of sensor data uncertainty issues. The analysis relies upon high-resolution data collected in 2016 over a commercial vineyard, located near Lodi, California, for the USDA Agricultural Research Service Grape Remote sensing Atmospheric Profile and Evapotranspiration eXperiment (GRAPEX) Program. A Monte Carlo analysis is offered of how uncertainty in sensor spectral response and/or orthorectification accuracy can affect the estimation of information products of potential interest to growers, as illustrated in the form of common vegetation indices.


Copyright 2018 Society of Photo‑Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). One print or electronic copy may be made for personal use only. Systematic reproduction and distribution, duplication of any material in this publication for a fee or for commercial purposes, and modification of the contents of the publication are prohibited.

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