Managing UAS Imagery for Developmentally-Driven Decision Making and Genetic Analysis


Speaker:  Dr. Katy Rainey (Purdue University & Progeny Drone, Inc)


Date:  October 2nd  2020 / Time: 14:00   (Berlin Time) /  7.00 AM (CDT)


Watch the recorded webinar online



Unmanned aerial systems (UAS) and image analysis allow plant breeders to measure phenotypic variability on the same genotype multiple times during a season, producing variables defined as longitudinal traits. From agronomic research using UAS, multiple data types are generated at different scales and over time, for both observations and metadata. The images themselves should not be considered the data because extensive post-processing, including modeling, is required to obtain validated plot-level metrics. Ideally outputs are generated rapidly so that decision-making happens during the season. This provides breeders with new approaches such as using yield predictions for early-season selection and subsampling. So that the engineering does not get in the way of the genetics, the desired data quality should be defined relative to scale, size, source, and georeferencing. Our approach is to use robust and inexpensive RGB data collected over many environments and multiple sampling dates. Certain data management protocols and tools allow crop scientists and agronomists to progress with applications of these new and valuable data. Emerging technologies will follow in the wake of that progress.


Speaker Short Bio:

Dr. Katy Rainey Associate Professor of soybean genetics and breeding in the Agronomy Department at Purdue University, and the CTO of Progeny Drone, Inc. The Rainey lab in collaboration with the Cherkauer lab has been collecting UAS RGB imagery of soybean yield trials and breeding populations since 2013, and since 2017 we have surveyed multiple locations with RGB and MS, completing over 400 flights. From the imagery we can quantify canopy coverage, MS vegetation indices, row length, canopy height, growth rate, canopy color with MS and RGB, and we are working on radiation use efficiency, height variability and canopy temperature with a thermal camera. Her motto for plant phenotyping is: "Do Genetics Now!"

 Link to Katy Raineys Purdue University website


Short Company description: Progney Drone, Inc.
Progeny Drone Inc, develops software that empowers anyone to extract data from images of outdoor small plot ag field trials captured with a UAS. With Plot Phenix researchers can stitch images in the field on a laptop in 30 minutes or less, without any need for an internet connection or ground control points. We serve agronomists, plant breeders, and researchers working on crops, seed, fertilizers, microbials, and crop protection