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Estimation of Surface Thermal Emissivity in a Vineyard for UAV Microbolometer Thermal Cameras Using NASA HyTES Hyperspectral Thermal, and Landsat and AggieAir Optical Data
Autonomous Air and Ground Sensing Systems for Agricultural Optimization and Phenotyping IV
  • Alfonso F. Torres-Rua, Utah State University
  • Mahyar Aboutalebi, Utah State University
  • Timothy Wright, Antorcha LLC
  • Ayman Nassar, Utah State University
  • Pierre Guillevic, University of Maryland
  • Lawrence Hipps, Utah State University
  • Feng Gao, Agricultural Research Service
  • Kevin Jim, Oceanit Labs., Inc.
  • Maria Mar Alsina, E&J Gallo Winery
  • Calvin Coopmans, Utah State University
  • Mac McKee, Utah State University
  • William Kustas, Agricultural Research Service
Document Type
Conference Paper
International Society for Optical Engineering
Baltimore, Maryland
Publication Date

Microbolometer thermal cameras in UAVs and manned aircraft allow for the acquisition of highresolution temperature data, which, along with optical reflectance, contributes to monitoring and modeling of agricultural and natural environments. Furthermore, these temperature measurements have facilitated the development of advanced models of crop water stress and evapotranspiration in precision agriculture and heat fluxes exchanges in small river streams and corridors. Microbolometer cameras capture thermal information at blackbody or radiometric settings (narrowband emissivity equates to unity). While it is customary that the modeler uses assumed emissivity values (e.g. 0.99– 0.96 for agricultural and environmental settings); some applications (e.g. Vegetation Health Index), and complex models such as energy balance-based models (e.g. evapotranspiration) could benefit from spatial estimates of surface emissivity for true or kinetic temperature mapping. In that regard, this work presents an analysis of the spectral characteristics of a microbolometer camera with regard to emissivity, along with a methodology to infer thermal emissivity spatially based on the spectral characteristics of the microbolometer camera. For this work, the MODIS UCBS Emissivity Library, NASA HyTES hyperspectral emissivity, Landsat, and Utah State University AggieAir UAV surface reflectance products are employed. The methodology is applied to a commercial vineyard agricultural setting located in Lodi, California, where HyTES, Landsat, and AggieAir UAV spatial data were collected in the 2014 growing season. Assessment of the microbolometer spectral response with regards to emissivity and emissivity modeling performance for the area of study are presented and discussed.


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Citation Information
Alfonso Torres-Rua, Mahyar Aboutalebi, Timothy Wright, Ayman Nassar, Pierre Guillevic, Lawrence Hipps, Feng Gao, Kevin Jim, Maria Mar Alsina, Calvin Coopmans, Mac McKee, and William Kustas "Estimation of surface thermal emissivity in a vineyard for UAV microbolometer thermal cameras using NASA HyTES hyperspectral thermal, and landsat and AggieAir optical data", Proc. SPIE 11008, Autonomous Air and Ground Sensing Systems for Agricultural Optimization and Phenotyping IV, 1100802 (14 May 2019);