Drones collecting testing data
Observe, describe and analyze plant growth is essential to plant research, and a whole set of high-tech tools are now available for breeders and testers to gather more and better information from the testing field. Manual data collection takes a lot of time, is prone to human error and subjectivity and thus not always 100% accurate. High Throughput Phenotyping (HTP) devices such as drones represent a great option to tackle those issues. Drones can take high resolution pictures of your trials to derive many useful traits such as plant counting, plot height, flowering detection, plant leaf surface (related to plant biomass), etc… Those traits are useful to understand cultivar performances in a given environment.
Experts in plant measurement and research software editors propose complementary and interfaced solutions to support research departments in settling the complete processing chain of drone captured information and integrating this workflow inside their research information system.
How to integrate the complete chain of traits use from Drone information and optimize data management along this process?
« The advancement of science comes from new technologies, discovering, and new ideas, probably in this order. » Sydney Brenner, nobel prize of medecine in 2002
Exporting testing data and preparing drone flight
To ensure a successful drone data collection and get most of the information from data processing, some constraints must be addressed to input in the drone analytics platform all the meta information needed. In preparation to the campaign, the testing team gathers all information about the experiment location, the randomization and the treatments.
Field work preparation can be facilitated through transfers of information between the research information system and the drone analytics platform. According to the traits needed by the researcher and the characteristics of the trials, a list of drones and sensors will be recommended which consists of the best compromise between price and image quality for your application. Nowadays it is very simple to prepare the drone mission in your office, making the automatically the drones flight plan. Drone flying altitude and waypoints depends on the selected traits.
According to the traits needed by the researcher and the characteristics of the trials, a list of drones and sensors will be recommended.
Drone image acquisition and processing of testing data
Drone acquisition is very simple: it goes automatically through the field, flying along the field map, and captures the images. Once this step is done, the images are uploaded into the drone data processing platform to be analyzed. This step is simple and automated as everything has already been defined: data acquisition protocols, algorithms and data validation. A discussion with the drone experts can be made to understand some of the results and improve the value of the data processed. The obtained traits are then automatically transferred your research information system.
In addition to material characterization (Chlorophyll and vegetation index, plant counting, elevation and volume, organ counting, disease detection...), strong analytics can assess microplot heterogeneity, hence the quality of the trials at the microplot level.
« Storing and centralizing drone analytics information in the research information system valorizes those new traits in the decision-making chain for the breeding and testing program »
Alexis Comar, Agronomist, CEO of Hiphen, a drone for agronomy start-up
Drone data centralization and analysis in the testing software
To avoid errors, there should be no manual operation between the drone analysis report and the testing software.
This is made possible by an interface connection which makes data transfer safe and fast. The research IT system receives all traits and centralizes it into its database. Then researchers retrieve all data from different flights in the experiment manager, compare it with other data and analyze it to make their statistical reports, including regression graphs and histograms. Thanks to IT tools the researchers have all information to take the right decisions.
« Integrating the phenotyping workflow in the information system supports research departments in settling the complete processing chain of drone capture information. »
Tristan Duminil, Agronomist, business manager at Doriane
New technologies such as high throughput aerial imaging applied to plant phenotyping enhances researcher's knowledge therefore enables them to make more informed decisions.
Phenotyping experts such as Hiphen® provide a wide variety of products and services adapted to plant phenotyping, to augment researcher's knowledge and make more informed decisions. IT experts like Doriane® bring breeding and testing departments a centralized information software to secure and valorize vegetal research information.
The collaboration between HTP Experts and IT systems permits to save time over data management and launch your research program into the digital era.