Use of high-resolution multispectral imagery from an unmanned aerial vehicle in precision agriculture

Manal Al-Arab, Utah State University
Alfonso Torres-Rua, Utah State University
Andres Ticlavilca, Utah State University
Austin Jensen, Utah State University
Mac McKee, Utah State University


Precision agriculture requires high spatial management of the inputs to agricultural production. This requires that actionable information about crop and field status be acquired at the same high spatial resolution and at a temporal frequency appropriate for timely responses. This paper presents some results from an on-going project to explore the use of imagery collected from the use of a small unmanned aerial vehicle, called AggieAir, to estimate plant nitrogen and chlorophyll at approximately 13-cm resolution for a field of oats served by a center pivot sprinkler system. When combined with appropriate analytic tools, the AggieAir imagery can be successfully used to estimate plant nitrogen and chlorophyll levels at much finer than 1-m resolution.