Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Airborne and satellite radars record Frascati grape harvest

01.02.2006


The slopes of Frascati overlooking Rome boast rich, volcanic soils: wine has been produced there since time immemorial. However the latest vine crop should go down in history as the single best documented harvest ever.



Part of Frascati’s Controlled Origin Denomination – ’Denominazione d’Origine Controllata’ or DOC in Italian, a wine’s legally demarcated home region - was surveyed in ultra-sharp detail using an airborne radar sensor both before then after last October’s harvest. This two-stage ESA campaign was called BACCHUS-DOC, and was intended to complement a number of radar and optical satellite acquisitions by ERS-2, SPOT, Landsat, IKONOS and QuickBird.

Following processing of raw data, the results are now under study by a team from ESRIN, ESA’s European Centre for Earth Observation located within the area of study, and the nearby Tor Vergata University. In particular they are investigating to what extent the BACCHUS-DOC airborne and satellite radar imagery is sensitive to vineyard surfaces and the change in biomass following the grape harvest.


"We have been demonstrating the potential use of satellite radar imagery from ERS and Envisat for correlating the radar signal with the vineyard biomass, and in particular the ’grape biomass’," said Luigi Fusco of ESRIN. "The early results – applying detailed geographical information gathered on the area during previous projects – have shown that this correlation exists, and this detailed analysis is proving worthwhile."

BACCHUS-DOC was overseen by ESA’s dedicated Campaigns Unit, with the participation of the German Aerospace Center (DLR) and Rome’s Tor Vergata University, whose personnel carried out accompanying ground measurements. The Campaigns Unit and Bacchus team selected a 24.5 square kilometre area of interest – with orientation fitting the orbit and radar look direction of ERS-2 at that time.

For their part in the campaign, DLR operated their Experimental Synthetic Aperture Radar (E-SAR), flown on their customised Dornier-228 flown out of nearby Ciampino Airport. The E-SAR has a maximum spatial resolution of four metres and operates at five different radar signal wavelengths with selectable polarisations, a means of increasing signal sensitivity to different environmental variables. Such a performance is superior to the current generation of radar satellite sensors but presents a way to simulate the results available from future space-based instruments.

The initial E-SAR flight took place on October 5, followed up on 25 October. In the meantime the harvest took place. Highly radar-visible corner reflectors were placed at places within the area of interest to act as reference points. The precise aircraft route was tracked using GPS backed up by an onboard inertial navigation system (INS).

"The SAR image acquisitions were accompanied by contemporary ground measurements on the vineyards," explained Prof. Domenico Solimini of the Tor Vergata University. "An extensive survey identified the general conditions of vegetation and of the terrain in a wide area of the Frascati wine production zone.

"For the second overflight when the grapes had been harvested, only the parameters of stable structures were the same, so only the variable elements were monitored, such as leaf height, distribution and dimensions, number of leaves per unit area, roughness and moisture of the terrain, plus weed height."

The main scientific objective of BACCHUS-DOC was to investigate the sensitivity of polarimetic radar in measuring grape biomass, as well as additional useful parameters for inventorying and characterising vineyards such as vine rows, spacing and orientation, and vineyard borders. The potential to estimate local soil roughness and moisture is also being assessed.

Frascati was selected for the BACCHUS-DOC campaign because a dedicated geographic information system (GIS) has been constructed for this DOC area as part of a European Commission-funded project called Bacchus, aimed at applying Earth Observation and GIS technology to improve European wine quality. Bacchus is now complete, but a follow-on project called DiVino is extending the capabilities of the Frascati GIS.

For centuries Europe has been one of the world’s great wine producing regions, although cultivation practices are often inconsistent and expensive. With global competition growing, the hope is to develop information tools that combine aerial and satellite imagery with GIS technology in support of vineyard management and improving wine quality.

The part-EC-funded DiVino research consortium is made up of public and private bodies from four wine producing countries – Italy, France, Spain and Portugal – with participants covering different aspects of vine cultivation and marketing. Within Italy the participants include the Frascati DOC consortium, which represents some 700 local grape producers and wine makers.

A trial GIS has been released to the consortium for testing, with a formal presentation of results to the Frascati Community Council taking place soon, and a public workshop taking place in early March.

Mariangela D’Acunto | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.esa.int/esaEO/SEM6YBNZCIE_economy_0.html
http://www.esa.int

More articles from Information Technology:

nachricht Sensors embedded in sports equipment could provide real-time analytics to your smartphone
16.02.2017 | University of Illinois College of Engineering

nachricht Researchers catch extreme waves with higher-resolution modeling
15.02.2017 | DOE/Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

All articles from Information Technology >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Breakthrough with a chain of gold atoms

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

Im Focus: DNA repair: a new letter in the cell alphabet

Results reveal how discoveries may be hidden in scientific “blind spots”

Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...

Im Focus: Dresdner scientists print tomorrow’s world

The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.

The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...

Im Focus: Mimicking nature's cellular architectures via 3-D printing

Research offers new level of control over the structure of 3-D printed materials

Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...

Im Focus: Three Magnetic States for Each Hole

Nanometer-scale magnetic perforated grids could create new possibilities for computing. Together with international colleagues, scientists from the Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) have shown how a cobalt grid can be reliably programmed at room temperature. In addition they discovered that for every hole ("antidot") three magnetic states can be configured. The results have been published in the journal "Scientific Reports".

Physicist Dr. Rantej Bali from the HZDR, together with scientists from Singapore and Australia, designed a special grid structure in a thin layer of cobalt in...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Booth and panel discussion – The Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings at the AAAS 2017 Annual Meeting

13.02.2017 | Event News

Complex Loading versus Hidden Reserves

10.02.2017 | Event News

International Conference on Crystal Growth in Freiburg

09.02.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Biocompatible 3-D tracking system has potential to improve robot-assisted surgery

17.02.2017 | Medical Engineering

Real-time MRI analysis powered by supercomputers

17.02.2017 | Medical Engineering

Antibiotic effective against drug-resistant bacteria in pediatric skin infections

17.02.2017 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>