MAY 29, 2009--An automatic analysis method for real-time remote sensing and monitoring of sugar-cane harvesting is being developed. The goal is to design a decision-aid tool based on the expert knowledge available in the sugar-cane industry, which can also be adapted to other fields such as wine growing and forestry.
On the island of Réunion, sugar cane covers over 25 400 hectares. The harvest period can span six months of the year. However, once the cane has been cut, it must be processed in a factory within 48 hours, otherwise decomposition hinders the industrial crystallization process. Because the factories operate with zero stock and at constant output levels, the companies increasingly use data supplied by satellite-image experts to estimate the progress of harvests on the island.
The imaging program, managed by CIRAD (Montpellier, France), is intended to develop remote-sensing methods and products to meet the needs of the sugar-cane industry.
Researcher Mahmoud El Hajj has developed an automatic analysis method for the satellite-image time series using FisPro software, developed in 2000 by Cemagref (Fresnes, France) and INRA (Paris, France).
FisPro software serves to build fuzzy-inference systems and then use them to process data, in particular for simulation of physical or biological systems.
Whereas standard image analysis of data from remote sensing requires several days of work by an expert, the new tool needs just a few hours to process all sugar-cane fields.
FisPro may be freely downloaded from http://www.inra.fr/internet/Departements/MIA/M/fispro/indexen.html
-- Posted by Conard Holton, Vision Systems Design, www.vision-systems.com