Environmental Monitoring

Ocean Optics Spectrometers Collect Crop Data

October 2, 2013

A multinational team of researchers is using STS spectrometers to make ground and aerial synchronized hyperspectral measurements of barley and sugar beet crops in New Zealand to assess plant characteristics for more effective crop management.

MUMBAI /PRNewswire/ -- A pair of super-lightweight miniature spectrometers from Ocean Optics is helping researchers investigate plant parameters in a verdant patch of New Zealand grassland. The compact STS model spectrometers—one deployed as a ground unit, and the other aboard an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV)—are making synchronized hyperspectral measurements of barley and sugar beet crops to assess plant characteristics for more effective crop management.

A multinational team of researchers from Germany, Italy, Spain, and New Zealand developed the UAV-based system and conducted the initial experiments, gathering high-resolution reflectance spectra from the UAV at altitudes of up to 200 m and irradiance spectra from the ground-based spectrometer. According to team leader Andreas Burkart, of the Research Center Julich IBG-2 Plant Sciences, Germany, collection of hyperspectral data by field spectroscopy is a time-consuming task and often is restricted to easily accessible areas.

The small size and weight of the STS spectrometer is ideal for use on the UAV, which allows a series of fast and reproducible measurements over any terrain, even forest or marsh. By measuring various segments across a section of the New Zealand pastureland, the system was able to assess information such as specific plots that contained live vegetation.

The STS is a remarkably small CMOS detector-based spectrometer less than 2 in. square (40 by 42 mm) and weighs a little over 2 oz. (68 g). It performs comparably to larger systems, providing full spectral analysis with low stray light, high signal to noise (>1500:1) and excellent optical resolution. For the application described here, the researchers were able to match the performance of the STS to that of a larger, more expensive commercially available field portable spectrometer, with optical resolution of ~2.5 nm (FWHM).

About Ocean Optics
Ocean Optics is a leading supplier of solutions for optical sensing—fundamental methods of measuring and interpreting the interaction of light with matter. With locations in Asia and Europe, the company has sold more than 100,000 spectrometers worldwide since 1992. Ocean Optics' extensive line of complementary technologies includes chemical sensors, analytical instrumentation, optical fibers, thin films, and optics. The company is a subsidiary of Halma plc.

About Halma
Halma plc is an international market leader in safety, health, and sensor technology. A public company listed on the London Stock Exchange, it has over 4000 employees in 40 subsidiaries worldwide. Halma's subsidiaries make products that protect lives and improve the quality of life for people through innovation in market-leading products that make its customers safer, more competitive, and more profitable. These subsidiaries are assisting India's economy in areas such as manufacturing, energy, water and waste treatment, the environment, construction, transport, and health.

For further news about Halma in India and to subscribe to the Halma India RSS News Feed, please visit our news blog.

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