Posts Tagged ‘remote sensing’

The Skywalker Project: Soaring to New Heights

Charles Mutimaamba, Chief Research Officer and Maize Breeder at the CBI, pauses for a photo with the Skywalker in a field.

Charles Mutimaamba, Chief Research Officer and Maize Breeder at the CBI, pauses for a photo with the Skywalker in a field.

Though its name implies science fiction, Skywalker’s results have been incredibly real. A small, unmanned aerial vehicle equipped with remote sensing devices, Skywalker flies over maize fields collecting images and data. It is able to measure several hundred plots in one take. Spectral reflectance and thermal imagery cameras on its wings allow scientists to conduct non-destructive screening of plant physiological properties such as crop growth and water use, at enough resolution to obtain information at plot level.

Turbo-charging the breeding process

CIMMYT Synthetic VarietyTo accelerate the breeding cycle and continually develop the improved wheat varieties needed to meet global needs, novel approaches are needed to extend conventional selection methods, said Dr. Jesse Poland, an assistant professor at Kansas State University and director of the Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Applied Wheat Genomics, in his presentation on “Genomic Selection and Precision Phenotyping” at the Borlaug Summit on Wheat for Food Security.

However, each new technology can only be effective in combination with others, meaning that the disciplines of genetics, physiology, engineering and bioinformatics must come together in order to advance on the fundamental concepts of breeding established by Dr. Norman Borlaug more than 50 years ago.

Advances in phenotyping platforms bring the lab to the field

Scientists have made revolutionary advances in their ability to identify genes associated with traits such as drought tolerance or yield in the laboratory, but are still held back by the challenge of observing how these genes express themselves in a complex real-world environment, a practice known as phenotyping.

14/01/13 – Workshop ‘Remote Sensing: Beyond Images’

Opening slide of workshop 'Remote Sensing - Beyond Images'

Date: 14-15 December 2013
Venue: Palace Sevilla Hotel
Location: Mexico City, Mexico

Poor people are the first to be hit by food shortages; it is important to make use of all possible technologies and improve policies to ensure a steady increase in food production to match the rising demand. Insights and recommendations based on remote sensing have the large potential to help improve the livelihoods of resource poor farmers. These farmers can benefit directly through specific crop management information or indirectly through better seed or informed policy decisions by governments. Farmer’s organizations, NGOs, governments, policy makers and others can make use of geo-spatial information to create more equitable, fairer and more transparent conditions for these farmers.