Spanish researchers are using an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) fitted with cameras to help determine varieties of maize which are best suited to adverse environmental conditions.
The international project is being led by Josep Lluís Araus, a professor from the Department of Plant Biology at the University of Barcelona (Barcelona, Spain).
The so-called "Skywalker" UAV has been fitted with visible and near infrared and thermal imaging cameras. The cameras capture images that are then used by the researchers to evaluate the growth of a different maize varieties and how they are affected by environmental conditions, such as temperature and water in the soil.
The data will be used to improve the efficiency of maize breeding and speed up the development of drought and low nitrogen tolerant maize varieties.
Further details of the system can be found here.
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