Comprehensive Approach to support Precision Agriculture and environmental management through satellite technologies and classic methods of investigation (CAPA)

PN-III-P2-2.1-PED-2019-3495, ctr. PED 259/2020 

Implementation period: 20.08 2020-19.08.2022

Objective: The overall project objective is the development and implementation of an alert system for precision agriculture and environmental management related to identification of air pollution and extreme weather events.

The project will have as final product a near real-time alerting system for precision agriculture using a comprehensive integrated online platform where near real time satellite-based products and ready to use information for farming will be available for decision-making. Beyond the project duration this system can be used to assist the management decisions in smart farming since response time is essential to prevent negative effects on crops. Identifying, quantifying, and responding to variability are essential in precision agriculture.

The specific objectives are focused on the evaluation of the evolution in time of the physical-chemical characteristics of plants in correlation with the air and of the climatic variables in the area of a pilot site, the estimation of the occurrence of extreme weather phenomena, but also estimation of pollution events during annual vegetative vegetation cycles of the crops with the identification of the influences of long range transport air masses.

The project is based on the infrastructure (the pilot site) already developed at the didactic and research farm "Moara Domneasca", belonging to the University of Agronomic Sciences and Veterinary Medicine of Bucharest (USAMV partner). This farm is located 15 km north-east from Bucharest. Doctoral, Masters and Bachelors students, the teaching staff and the researchers of the University prepare here enhancement, research and testing programmes using the most modern technologies in the field. The field farm (253 ha arable land) is cultivated by successive rotations of wheat, triticale hybrids, peas, sunflower, rapeseed, potatoes, alfalfa and other crops. The didactic farm has several agro-meteorological stations with automatic data transmission and all across the farm there are modern installations for drip irrigations, all being supervised by permanent specialized personnel living and working at the farm facilities.

The mobile laboratory of the National Institute of Development in Optoelectronics, (INOE Coordinator of this project), in which each instrument (high performance weather stations, point gas monitors, lidar for aerosols) and the infrastructure of The National Institute for Research & Development in Chemistry and Petrochemistry laboratories (ICECHIM partner), as well as the mobile monitoring equipment are important parts of the used infrastructure. The time series of The Earth Observation (EO) satellite data provided within the EU Copernicus Programme will be used to investigate analyse the phenological development of crops by identifying characteristic difference in their seasonal development both crop health (Sentinel 1 and Sentinel 2 satellite missions) and evolution of air pollutants as ozone, dioxide sulphur, nitrogen dioxide, carbon monoxide (Satellite S5p Sentinel 5P satellite mission).

Estimated results:

  • Report containing detailed description on the analysis of the evolution of climatic factors at regional level, estimation of the trends of the main indicators and the frequency of occurrence of extreme phenomena in the proximity of experimental field
  • Report on the main source of pollution and long range transported influencing the pilot site
  • Procedure containing analysis protocols for crops based on satellite-based biophysical parameters for monitoring the crops annual phenological cycles in the pilot area
  • Procedure containing analysis protocols for agrosystems for in-situ monitoring of the crop growth parameters and the agro-meteorological conditions (soil, water, plant).
  • Data collection during intensive experimental campaigns to quantify climate conditions, air quality and agrosystem characteristics at the pilot site during the crop growth cycles
  • Data collection during long-term monitoring of air quality parameters, solar radiation level, weather conditions, crop growth and biophysical parameters during the vegetation season in the pilot site based on in-situ and remotely-sensed data
  • Study on the analysis of climate conditions and air quality in relation to the predominant transport of air masses and crops development; identification of major influences and conditions for the occurrence of negative effects
  • analysis reports containing information regarding agro systems monitoring depending on the climatic conditions
  • procedure on correlations between air transported pollutants and crop health
  • procedure on correlations, steps for development of the alert system, validation steps of the alert system
  • technical documentation for the innovative technology implemented in the alert system
  • 2 papers submitted to ISI Journals;
  • Communication of the results-participation to conferences