Improvement of a mobile platform for plant phenotyping
Plant phenotyping refers to monitoring traits (physical characteristics) of plants. Crop scientists/breeders, are interested to find relations between phenotypes and genotypes, which improves yields and ultimately may address issue of food insecurity. Manual measurement currently is the primary method for phenotyping. However, this method has several limitations, including intensive labor requirement and human errors in monitoring. Therefore, a field-based mobile platform for autonomous crop monitoring is considered a better option for crop monitoring. An intensive literature search was carried out to understand state of development around the globe for different field-based High-Throughput Phenotyping Platforms (HTPP). In this study, existing farm vehicles, such as a Swather and/or a Tractor, were used for carrying a mechanical boom that all of the measuring devices were attached to them. By selecting and adding other electrical equipment and devices to the existing HTPP, features of plots can be measured to provide necessary information to crop scientists. Targeted traits were selected as plant height, temperature, NDVI (Normalized Difference Vegetation Index), RGB (Red-Green-Blue)/multispectral images, and ambient temperature/humidity. User-friendly and automated software programs were developed for mapping breeding field, data acquisition, visualization, sorting, and post-processing. In this research MATLAB was used as the main programming language for developing software. Moreover, another programming language (CRBasic) was used for data acquisition program. To validate the effectiveness and reliability of the developed HTPP with new parts and programs, different types of nurseries like canola and wheat, with different numbers of plots were studied. In this way, a valuable phenotypic database was gathered for the crop scientists/breeders. For providing this database standards of the breeding business are followed. Several verification tests were applied to verify the efficiency and accuracy of developed HTPP. In this study, I contribute mainly in designing and installation of electrical architecture, development of user-friendly and modular software package, evaluating operation of both hardware and software parts, conducting several field tests, analyzing collected data/images and examining reliability and accuracy of developed HTPP.
Mobile Platform, Phenotyping, Sensors, Automated Crop Monitoring
Master of Science (M.Sc.)