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Agricultural Inspection Using SWIR Camera Technology

Agricultural Inspection Using SWIR Camera Technology - Fruits and Vegetables

Agricultural inspection using SWIR (Short-Wave Infrared) camera technology involves employing cameras that can capture images beyond the visible spectrum, specifically in the short-wave infrared range. These cameras utilize SWIR sensors to detect light wavelengths typically ranging from approximately 900 nanometers to 2500 nanometers.

SWIR camera technology offers several advantages for agricultural inspection:

  1. Disease Detection: SWIR cameras can detect subtle changes in plant health that may not be visible to the naked eye or traditional cameras. They can identify indicators of diseases, pests, nutrient deficiencies, and water stress, allowing farmers to take timely action to mitigate crop damage.
  2. Moisture Content Analysis: SWIR cameras can assess moisture levels in soil and vegetation, aiding in irrigation management and optimizing water usage. They can identify areas of excessive or insufficient moisture, enabling farmers to adjust irrigation schedules accordingly.
  3. Crop Quality Evaluation: SWIR cameras can assess the quality and ripeness of crops based on their chemical composition. They can differentiate between healthy and diseased fruits or vegetables, as well as determine sugar content and ripeness levels, helping farmers make informed harvesting decisions.
  4. Weed Detection and Management: SWIR cameras can distinguish between crops and weeds based on their spectral signatures. This enables precise weed detection and targeted weed control strategies, reducing the need for herbicides and minimizing crop damage.
  5. Environmental Monitoring: SWIR cameras can monitor environmental conditions such as temperature, humidity, and soil composition, providing valuable data for crop modeling and forecasting. They can also identify areas of soil contamination or nutrient depletion, facilitating soil remediation efforts.

Overall, agricultural inspection using SWIR camera technology enhances productivity, sustainability, and yield optimization in farming practices by enabling early detection of issues, precise decision-making, and resource-efficient management strategies.

NIR-SWIR wavelengths have become important for modern agriculture as they capture essential characteristics of crops, soils, and the environment. These wavelengths are rich in information about chlorophyll levels, moisture, soil minerals, and proteins. For instance, water absorbs strongly in the 1390-1450 nm wavelength band causing moist portions of agricultural products to appear darker than surrounding areas, as illustrated by the visible and SWIR images of the apple. Precision agriculture includes using diode array spectrometers on tractors, multi and hyperspectral cameras on drones and aerial overflights, and band-filtered image sensors on satellites. These are examples of using remote sensing and ground truthing to track plant health and yield. As discussed on the PIRT application page for Sorting/Contaminant Detection in SWIR, NIR-SWIR inspection is also used to groom rocks and packaging contaminates away from harvested agricultural products, for robotic trimming of fodder, and for assessing quality of inputs to the food processing plant.

To get started for agricultural applications,. The 3535 SWIR smd led is a compact SWIR camera with flexible imaging frame rates and windowing capability. Use it to survey agricultural materials by first choosing a lens system for the imaging geometry dictated by the application. Then purchase a set of bandpass filters compatible with the lens and selective for the key characteristics of interest, such as a 1440 nm bandpass of up to 100 nm (+/-50 nm) which matches the strong absorption of water molecules. Compare images taken with and without the filter to determine the effects of water content in the material.


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