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The group of crop science inaugurated their ‘field phenotyping platform’ (FIP) in Eschikon on June 10 2016. The FIP is a unique prototype for automated, image-based crop analysis and will facilitate research in plant breeding and precision agriculture. 

The Field Phenotyping Platform (FIP) at the Eschikon Field Station of ETH Zurich was installed in August 2014. A rope suspended carrier system (Spidercam®) holds multiple sensors which can be positioned over individual plots or plants. The current version includes visible-, near infrared and thermal cameras, multispectral point sensors and a laser scanner. A novel algorithm enables an automatic positioning of the sensors on an area of approximately one hectare.

Starting from autumn 2014, more than thousand individual plots, planted with wheat, ryegrass, buckwheat, soybean and maize, had been continuously monitored in the test phase of the system. Depending on the research question, crop- or genotype specific changes in growth and development throughout the day have been monitored at critical developmental stages and throughout the whole season. These changes will be related to their causal environmental factors such as fluctuating solar radiation, temperature and precipitation.

One major aim is to map quantitative trait loci (QTLs) related to environmental responses using association and QTL mapping panels and to develop new methodologies to assist breeder’s selection in the field. Moreover, precision agriculture approaches will be refined utilizing the capacities of the FIP.

FIP Overview  
Overview of the FIP area of about 1 ha covered by the system. Three of the poles which carry deflector roles on top and the winch houses at their base are visible.

FIP Dolly  
Sensor head of the FIP:  RGB and NDVI DSLR camera, laser scanning device, thermal camera, spectrometers and operational camera can take data of the field automatically.
Tiled image of FIP field site with soybean, winter wheat, sunflower, maize, clover and buckwheat acquired by UAV: D. Constantin, M. Rehak and Y. Akhtman, EPFL ENAC TOPO.
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Tue Jun 27 17:19:29 CEST 2017
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