[Picture 1] Team members pictured above: Jim Davis, Chris Weigman, Scott Shearer, Enrico Bonello, Anna Conrad, Desheng Liu
[Picture 2] Development of prototype drone-mounted NIR sensor for classifying plants into infected/not infected
- A. Looking down as drone lifts off; B. Drone in flight toward target; C. Plant leaf gripped by sensor assembly, ready for scan; D. Graphic user interface for remote control of sensor assembly operations and data acquisition and transmission. Testing conducted on corn and soybean plants.
This team is focused on developing Strategic Modern Approaches for Resilient Trees (team SMART), centered on the development of small unmanned aerial vehicles and artificial intelligence models to manage invasive forest tree pathogens and insect pests (PIPs). The main goal of the project is the development of tools and algorithms that will provide forest health managers with the ability to scout for PIPs over landscape scales and, importantly, at the presymptomatic stage. This will be achieved by remotely sensing and interpreting spectroscopic signatures of trees under attack through the integration of satellite imagery with spectra obtained with advanced drone-mounted sensors. In this way, managers will be able to be one step ahead of the invaders. This advanced ability will allow forest health managers to circumscribe invasions much more accurately and realistically, leading to significant improvements in treatment of new invasion foci and therefore of the invasions themselves.