Automatic Grapevine Trunk Detection on UAV-Based Point Cloud

Remote Sensing (12) pp. 2043

J.M. Jurado; Luís Pádua; Francisco R. Feito; Joaquim-J. Sousa


The optimisation of vineyards management requires efficient and automated methods able to identify individual plants. In the last few years, Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) have become one of the main sources of remote sensing information for Precision Viticulture (PV) applications. In fact, high resolution UAV-based imagery offers a unique capability for modelling plant’s structure making possible the recognition of significant geometrical features in photogrammetric point clouds. Despite the proliferation of innovative technologies in viticulture, the identification of individual grapevines relies on image-based segmentation techniques. In that way, grapevine and non-grapevine features are separated and individual plants are estimated usually considering a fixed distance between them. In this study, an automatic method for grapevine trunk detection, using 3D point cloud data, is presented. The proposed method focuses on the recognition of key geometrical parameters to ensure the existence of every plant in the 3D model. The method was tested in different commercial vineyards and to push it to its limit a vineyard characterised by several missing plants along the vine rows, irregular distances between plants and occluded trunks by dense vegetation in some areas, was also used. The proposed method represents a disruption in relation to the state of the art, and is able to identify individual trunks, posts and missing plants based on the interpretation and analysis of a 3D point cloud. Moreover, a validation process was carried out allowing concluding that the method has a high performance, especially when it is applied to 3D point clouds generated in phases in which the leaves are not yet very dense (January to May). However, if correct flight parametrizations are set, the method remains effective throughout the entire vegetative cycle

DOI: 10.3390/rs12183043


author = {Juan Manuel Jurado-Rodr\'iguez and Lu\'is P\'adua and Francisco Ram\'on Feito-Higueruela and Joaquim J. Sousa},
title = {Automatic Grapevine Trunk Detection on UAV-Based Point Cloud},
journal = {Remote Sensing},
number = {12},
pages = {2043},
year = {2020},
doi = {10.3390/rs12183043}