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Biosystems Engineering

Gan, H. - Department of Biosystems Engineering and Soil Science, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN, United States

Lee, W.S. - Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, United States

Alchanatis, V. - Department of Sensing, Information and Mechanization Engineering, Institute of Agricultural Engineering, ARO – The Volcani Center, Bet Dagan, Israel

Abd-Elrahman, A. - Gulf Coast Research and Education Center, University of Florida, Plant City, FL, United States

Yield mapping for citrus fruit is a challenging task due to factors such as varying illumination conditions, clustering, and occlusions. Mapping the yield for immature citrus fruit presents an additional challenge that is the colours of fruit and leaves are almost identical. Commonly used machine vision techniques using colour cameras become less effective for immature citrus fruit detection. This study explores a novel active thermal imaging method to tackle the problem of colour similarity between immature citrus fruit and leaves. In this study, a thermal camera was combined with a water spray system that applied water mist to citrus trees. The water mist caused temperatures of both the fruit and leaf surfaces to change but at different rates. Multiple parameters of the spray system were experimented with the goal to induce as much temperature differences as possible between fruit and leaf surfaces. The combined system was tested in a citrus grove for fruit detections. Deep learning models were built based on the active thermal imaging system and tracking and fruit counting algorithms were created to count fruit in thermal videos. A mean average precision of 87.2% was achieved by the models and an accuracy of 96% was achieved when comparing the number of fruit counted by the algorithms with the true number of fruit counted manually in the field. 

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Active thermal imaging for immature citrus fruit detection
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Gan, H. - Department of Biosystems Engineering and Soil Science, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN, United States

Lee, W.S. - Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, United States

Alchanatis, V. - Department of Sensing, Information and Mechanization Engineering, Institute of Agricultural Engineering, ARO – The Volcani Center, Bet Dagan, Israel

Abd-Elrahman, A. - Gulf Coast Research and Education Center, University of Florida, Plant City, FL, United States

Active thermal imaging for immature citrus fruit detection

Yield mapping for citrus fruit is a challenging task due to factors such as varying illumination conditions, clustering, and occlusions. Mapping the yield for immature citrus fruit presents an additional challenge that is the colours of fruit and leaves are almost identical. Commonly used machine vision techniques using colour cameras become less effective for immature citrus fruit detection. This study explores a novel active thermal imaging method to tackle the problem of colour similarity between immature citrus fruit and leaves. In this study, a thermal camera was combined with a water spray system that applied water mist to citrus trees. The water mist caused temperatures of both the fruit and leaf surfaces to change but at different rates. Multiple parameters of the spray system were experimented with the goal to induce as much temperature differences as possible between fruit and leaf surfaces. The combined system was tested in a citrus grove for fruit detections. Deep learning models were built based on the active thermal imaging system and tracking and fruit counting algorithms were created to count fruit in thermal videos. A mean average precision of 87.2% was achieved by the models and an accuracy of 96% was achieved when comparing the number of fruit counted by the algorithms with the true number of fruit counted manually in the field. 

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