The rector of the University of Almería, Carmelo Rodríguez, has outlined the Transfiere Plan aid companies in researching strategic sectors for the province of Almería. The Union has participated in from the project from the start. The initial budget for the Plan is €242,000.
Drones for agriculture
Inverdron proposes the monitoring of crops by means of spectral images, which considerably improves monitoring and application of the necessary treatments to improve productivity. The researchers point out that its application to greenhouse crops is affected by the distortion created in the reflectance signal by the type and thickness of the plastics that cover the crops.
The project aims to develop protocols for the treatment of spectral images by means of external drone flights to the greenhouses. This will lay the foundations for the development of monitoring systems for winter crops with high spatial and temporal precision.
An experimental flight design is planned that takes into account the variability of the types of plastic, and is for two types of major crops, according to the technicians of La Union. The spectral data taken by drones will be validated with sensors installed inside greenhouses, and processed with Object-Oriented Image Analysis (OBIA) and Deep Learning techniques. This will allow the identification of areas of the crop that present anomalies in the value of the vegetation greenery that may correspond to crop damage.
General director Jesús Barranco stressed that agriculture and research go hand in hand to guarantee their future. “Modernisation is not a strategy but a necessity in which we work every day, hand in hand with the University of Almeria, which has international renown in this field. The agricultural sector of Almeria and the University form a team of first line work that give better and better results. I am grateful for this new step that undoubtedly opens a path of success for Almería and its future.”