Remote Sensing Technology for Precision Agriculture

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    • NOGUCHI Noboru
    • <I>Bioproduction Engineering, Graduate School of Agriculture, Hokkaido University</I>
    • O'BRIEN John G.
    • <I>College of Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA</I>


Agriculture methods in developed countries since the Industrial Revolution have tended to favor greater energy inputs using large tractors and increased applications of synthetic chemicals and fertilizer. While these methods of agricultural production have some negative societal and environmental implications, they have generally supported the food needs of the rapidly growing human population. However, a new mode of thought, with new technology is needed for the future. An agricultural production system that utilizes recent advances in sensor technology can fill this role, becoming an essential component of an intelligent agricultural production system. Specifically, remote sensing technology can supply information about current crop status, including maturity and weed infestations. Information gathered through vision sensors and GPS can be integrated to create field management schedules for chemical application, cultivation, and harvest. Satellites, as well as ground-based technologies have been studied in Japan for sensing the condition of field crops. While both methods have some drawbacks to utilization for crop status sensing in precision agriculture, a helicopter-base sensing system offers several solutions to common obstacles. These benefits include timeliness, spatial resolution as well as efficiency. This paper introduces current technologies, describes timely methods for remote sensing in precision agriculture using an unmanned helicopter, and discusses their impact on agricultural production systems.


  • Environment Control in Biology

    Environment Control in Biology 41(2), 107-120, 2003

    Japanese Society of Agricultural, Biological and Environmental Engineers and Scientists


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