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Precision farming with drones - drought detection and management using thermal and multispectral aerial images

During her PhD studies, Vita Antoniuk researched the use of the drones in precision agriculture.

Photo: Foto: Vita Antoniuk

In particular, she used thermal infrared and multispectral aerial imagery to detect early drought stress in winter wheat. Surface canopy temperature despite being ephemeral provides detailed information about plant and soil water status. This is because inhibition of plants’ uptake of water from the soil reduce transpiration translating into less energy loss from leaves and thereby higher leaf temperatures. Today, thermal images with a resolution of few centimeters can be acquired from drones and this enables detection of subtle spatial differences in rootzone water content of field crops. In turn, this information can be used for precision irrigation at the smallest manageable scale. The research was carried in Denmark and China, which allowed to study the differences of the method application in different climatic zones as well as for different winter wheat varieties. The new study findings contribute to the understanding of using remote sensing technology in detecting and managing drought stress.

The PhD study was completed at Department of Agroecology, Faculty of Technical Sciences, Aarhus University.

This summary was prepared by the PhD student.

Time: Friday, 4 March 2022 at 13:00
Place: Auditorium Aarhus University, AU Foulum, Blichers Allé 20, 8830 Tjele
Title of PhD thesis: Developing winter wheat water deficit index and evapotranspiration by the use of unmanned aerial systems. A study across different climatic zones and temporal scales

Contact information: Vita Antoniuk, e-mail: vita.antoniuk@agro.au.dk

Members of the assessment committee:

Senior Researcher Monica Garcia, Research Centre for the Management of Agricultural and Environmental Risks, E.T.S.I Agronómica, Alimentaria y de Biosistemas Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, Spain

Professor Dr. Henning Kage Institute of Crop Science and Plant Breeding Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel, Germany

Associate professor Lars Elsgaard (chair), Department of Agroecology, Aarhus University, Denmark

Main supervisor:
Professor Mathias Neumann Andersen, Department of Agroecology, Aarhus University, Denmark

Professor Xiying Zhang, Center for Agricultural Resources Research, Institute of Genetics and Developmental Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shijiazhuang, China

Academic employee Kirsten Kørup, Department of Agroecology, Aarhus University, Denmark

Assistant professor Kiril Manevski, Department of Agroecology, Aarhus University, Denmark

Language: The PhD dissertation will be defended in English
The defence is public.
The PhD thesis is available for reading at the Graduate School of Technical Sciences/GSTS, Katrinebjergvej 89F, building 5132, 8200 Aarhus N.