NSF BDSPOKES - Digital Agriculture: Unmanned Aerial Systems, Plant Sciences and Education

Unmanning Data Mondays - Getting the human out of unmanned aerial systems data

Unmanned aerial systems (UAS) are excellent sensor deployment packages that are contributing to the data deluge in many fields such as agriculture and ecology. Optical, infrared, LIDAR, multispectral and other sensor packages can provide data on scales impossible for humans to quickly and accurately analyze, leading to significant challenges in many fields wishing to operationally utilize UAS. This webinar series will feature speakers from academia and industry to discuss and introduce participants to UAS data analysis software and algorithms, metadata standards, and best practices, with a goal of harmonizing UAS data access, reproducibility and reuse across institutions and industry.

UASPSE, University of North Dakota, and Kansas State University are hosting a rotating series of webinars (with a focus on Agricultural applications) called Unmanning Data Mondays: Getting the human out of unmanned aerial systems data. The webinars are hosted in person from institutions involved with UASPSE and the Midwest Data Hub, and will be streamed online.

Unmanning Data Mondays - 2019 Viewing Information

All Presentations are from 2pm-3pm Central Time
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  • February 18 - Speaker: Nathan Stein
    Talk Title: Drone 2.0
    Join Zoom Meeting**
    - https://zoom.us/j/147127641

    Summary: Drones sales have gone through a rapid growth and have declined in recent years. While their potential early on seemed endless and solutions unlimited, cracks have emerged. In this session we will explore the reality of the drone market, how the do-it-all approach has left the market paralyzed. Further we will discuss how a reboot of the industry will lead to refinement of each tool for purpose driven missions. Most importantly what has been learned about data processing and why limited connectivity is a good thing for Big Data.

  • April 22:        Join Zoom Meeting** - https://zoom.us/j/431949082
    Speaker #1: Adam C. Hasbargen - Technical Project Manager of Wireless Certifications - Peplink International
    Bio: Mr. Hasbargen has a BA in Analytic Philosophy and is currently pursuing a BS in Computer Science from Minnesota State University - Moorhead. He routinely works with wireless provides to deploy mobile networking solutions, the most recent of which is a mobile network service for First Responders through AT&T's FirstNet.
    Talk Title: 5G in Rural America – Hype or Hope?
    5G is being touted as finally brining to fruition the full potential of wireless telegraphy and ushering in a true Internet of Things (aka – IoT) revolution. Mr. Hasbargen will explore the true differences between 4G and 5G, and whether 5G is mostly hype or actual hope for a truly connected rural America.
    Speaker #2: Isaac Barnhart - Master of Science student in Agronomy at Kansas State University
    Bio: Mr. Barnhart is a Master of Science student studying Agronomy at Kansas State University. He holds a Bachelor’s of Science degree from Sterling College (Kansas) in Biology. Isaac holds a FAA Part 107 certificate. His current research projects focus on the evaluation of grain sorghum characteristics using small unmanned aircraft systems (sUAS) equipped with multispectral cameras. His future educational goals include continuing on to get his Ph.D. in Agronomy and becoming a certified crop adviser (CCA). Isaac has a passion for all things related to agronomy and hopes to use sUAS and remote sensing techniques to continue to improve crop scouting techniques, providing a more efficient way to increase grain production and profitability for growers.
    Talk Title: Using small unmanned aircraft systems and Multispectral Imaging to Assess Grain Sorghum (Sorghum bicolor) Injury to HPPD-Inhibitor Herbicides
    Herbicide damage is a frequent occurrence in cropping systems that can result in yield losses for growers. Traditional methods of herbicide injury assessment are time-consuming and labor-intensive. Small unmanned aircraft systems (sUAS) equipped with multispectral cameras offer a new and innovative solution for herbicide damage assessment. Potential uses include large-scale herbicide damage evaluation and damage quantification for crop insurance compensation. Therefore, the goals of this project are to (1) characterize reductions in crop height (due to HPPD-inhibitor herbicide damage) with a crop surface model (csm), (2) use vegetative indexes (VIs) to detect HPPD-inhibitor herbicide damage on grain sorghum, and (3) use VIs to detect reductions in biomass due to herbicide damage. Expected results include discovering significant height reductions due to herbicide damage, strong Pearson’s correlation coefficients between visual damage assessment and VIs, and strong Pearson’s correlational coefficients between ground-truthed biomass reduction and VIs.

  • May 20:         Join Zoom Meeting** - https://zoom.us/j/584324409
    Speaker: Suranjan Panigrahi, ProfessorDepartment of Electrical and Computer Engineering Technology
    Bio: Dr. Suranjan Panigrahi is a professor in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Technology at Purdue University, West Lafayette. He has 27 years of comprehensive experience in research, teaching, and outreach in two different land grant universities in the U.S.A. His research focuses on the development and adaptation of sensors, artificial intelligent methods, and information technologies for agricultural and biological applications. He has adopted a solution-oriented systems-based approach for these above applications. He was the founder director of an interdisciplinary research facility “Bio-Imaging and Sensing Center” at North Dakota State University, Fargo for nine years. He has developed and taught courses related to applied computer imaging, embedded system for undergraduate and graduate students. He is author and co-author of more than 200 papers, book chapters, patents, software etc. He is a member of both the Gamma Sigma Delta and Alpha Epsilon – the Honor Society for Agriculture and Agricultural Engineering respectively.
    Talk Title: Sensors/Sensing System: Perspectives and Opportunities for Digital Agriculture in USA.
    Digital agriculture and related technologies are gaining momentum to transform the agricultural sector. A key aspect of digital agriculture is data (information) - how to get the right data at the right time and how to make the right decision using the data. Sensors (sensing systems) are the devices that provide information about different properties or process of an entity, object, or process. Agricultural production system is complex and consists of many heterogeneous processes and entities. Thus, it is very important to discuss the importance of sensors and sensing systems from the agricultural applications perspective. This is the key focus of this webinar. A system-based approach will be adopted to discuss the roles of selected sensors/sensing system in different segments of a typical agricultural production system. Different sensors/sensing system (including the drones) and related technologies (data acquisition, data analytics, machine learning methods) will be discussed. The role of other connected factors (i.e. open data policy, privacy, socio-economics) will also be discussed.
Unmanning Data Mondays - 2018 Viewing Information
Unmanning Data Mondays Kickoff Webinar January 22, 2018, 1:00-2:00pm CST

This webinar has already occurred, you can download slides from the webinar here:

You can watch a recording of this webinar here.

Developing an Open UAS Repository
Travis Desell, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Computer Science, University of North Dakota

In conjunction with feedback from participants in the NSF BDSPOKES Unmanned Aerial Systems, Plant Sciences and Education, Dr. Desell has been developing an web based repository for securely and quickly viewing large scale imagery gathered from unmanned aerial systems. The system also allows for the easy markup of imagery and sharing mosaics with your team. Feedback on the system is welcome so that it can become a valuable tool for the digital agriculture community.

Data Driven Autonomous Systems and Controls
Prakash Ranganathan, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Computer Science, University of North Dakota

In this presentation, Dr. Ranganathan will discuss challenges on the nexus of control, data, and processes for next-generation autonomous systems. The talk will focus on emerging areas such as UAS swarm technologies, and UAS cyber-security challenges. Dr. Ranganathan will share his recent project results on heat-loss quantification from thermal imagery data sets obtained from UAS. If time permits, Dr. Ranganathan will discuss the role of data-driven technologies in smart grid applications.

What is Precision Agriculture in US Field Crop Production in 2018? February 26, 2018, 1:00-2:00pm CST

You can watch a recording of this webinar here.

What is Precision Agriculture in US Field Crop Production in 2018?
John Nowatski, Extension Ag Machine Systems Specialist, North Dakota State University

This presentation will describe precision agriculture practices and technology currently available to crop producers, and how UAS applications fit into precision agriculture on crop farms in the Northern Plains. The presentation will include summaries of current NDSU UAS research, as well as plans for 2018 projects, including NDSU UAV activities, NDSU Smart Farms for 2018 and data management issues.

Unmanned Aerial System based High Throughput Phenotyping System Development March 19, 2018, 1:00-2:00pm CST

You can watch a recording of this webinar here.

Unmanned Aerial System based High Throughput Phenotyping System Development
Jinha Jung, Assistant Professor of Engineering, Texas A&M University

The acquisition of temporal and spatial crop phenotypic data is critical in agriculture research, but it has been usually performed by strenuous, destructive, expensive, slow, and labor-intensive hand sampling techniques in the past. Such constraints often lead to under-representative crop information due to limited sampling area and the introduction of possible human errors. Although remote sensing technologies have been utilized in some precision agriculture studies, development of an UAS-based phenotyping system and full utilization of the system throughout the whole life-cycle of crops to monitor crop growth, overall health, and particularly yield has been very limited until now. This presentation will illustrate how Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) technologies can be used to develop high throughput phenotyping system and it can help agriculture research scientists utilize advanced tools and methodologies for their research applications. Incorporation of the UAS technologies into their research programs will allow them to significantly increase efficiency. Data gathered using from the UAS will also provide agriculture research scientists a high level of detail (both spatial and temporal) never before possible using manual sampling procedures.

Opportunities, Challenges, and Progress in Managing the sUAS/RPAS Data April 16, 2018, 1:00-2:00pm CST

This webinar has already occurred, you can download slides from the webinar here:

You can watch a recording of this webinar here.

Opportunities, Challenges, and Progress in Managing the sUAS/RPAS Data
Jane Wyngaard, Ph.D, Data Scientist, University of Notre Dame
Andrea Thomer, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Information, University of Michigan
Lindsay Barbieri, Ph.D., Gund Graduate Fellow, University of Vermont

Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (sUAS) (aka “drones”, or RPAS) are rapidly changing how a broad range of researchers in many domains collect data. However, in order for these data to be fully utilised they must be made FAIR (Findable Accessible Interoperable Reusable), and doing so requires addressing multiple challenges as a joint community. Much can be borrowed and learnt from analogous domains (satellites, sensor networks, underwater gliders, manned aircraft) and various groups around the world are addressing various components of the challenge. Within the Research Data Alliance sUAS data Interest Group we are working to draw these groups into common conversations.

Additionally, as an initial practical step - under a ESIP Laboratories award - we are working to address the need to augment the data with machine-readable, semantically-rich metadata, and to annotate them in ways that make their provenance (the record of the processes that created the data) explicit. In sUAS-based research this is particularly challenging given the many agents (e.g. people, sUAS, sensors, controllers, computers, software systems), and complex processes (e.g. pre- and post- correction processing, data integration) that work together but within often inexplicit relationships. We will discuss our progress on this effort so far as well as highlighting some of the other groups globally working on components of the broader challenges.

Opportunities, Challenges, and Progress in Managing the sUAS/RPAS Data May 21, 2018, 1:00-2:00pm CST

You can watch a recording of this webinar here.

Acquiring Ultra-High-Resolution Imagery using Unmanned Aerial Systems (Drones) and its Applications in High-Throughput Phenotyping
Jianming Yu, Ph.D, Professor and Pioneer Distinguished Chair in Maize Breeding, Department of Agronomy, Iowa State University
Kevin P. Price, Ph.D, Executive Vice President - Research and Technology Development, AgPixel, LLC; Professor Emertus, Department of Agronomy, Kansas State University; and Collaborator, Department of Agronomy, Iowa State University

In this webinar, Dr. Price and Dr. Yu will provide a brief description of unmanned aerial systems technologies, examples of the imagery that can be collected, and applications in crop breeding, particularly applications in high-throughput and how they might be used in crop genetics and breeding.