Interlacing Orchard Canopy Separation and Assessment using UAV Images

Zhenzhen Cheng, Lijun Qi, Yifan Cheng, Yalei Wu, Hao Zhang
2020 Remote Sensing  
To minimize pesticide dosage and its adverse environmental impact, Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) spraying requires precise individual canopy information. Branches from neighboring trees may overlap, preventing image-based artificial intelligence analysis from correctly identifying individual trees. To solve this problem, this paper proposes a segmentation and evaluation method for mingled fruit tree canopies with irregular shapes. To extract the individual trees from mingled canopies, the study
more » ... fitted the projection curve distribution of the interlacing tree with Gaussian Mixture Model (GMM) and solved the matter of segmentation by estimating the GMM parameters. For the intermingling degree assessment, the Gaussian parameters were used to quantify the characteristics of the mingled fruit trees and then as the input for Extreme Gradient Boosting (XGBoost) model training. The proposed method was tested on the aerial images of cherry and apple trees. Results of the experiments show that the proposed method can not only accurately identify individual trees, but also estimate the intermingledness of the interlacing canopies. The root mean squares (R) of the over-segmentation rate (Ro) and under-segmentation rate (Ru) for individual trees counting were less than 10%. Moreover, the Intersection over Union (IoU), used to evaluate the integrity of a single canopy area, was greater than 88%. An 84.3% Accuracy (ACC) with a standard deviation of 1.2% was achieved by the assessment model. This method will supply more accurate data of individual canopy for spray volume assessments or other precision-based applications in orchards.
doi:10.3390/rs12050767 fatcat:bglqa2u3gnbyjojvzwzxtquqmm