From Event: SPIE Commercial + Scientific Sensing and Imaging, 2017
Beef production is the main agricultural industry in Texas, and livestock are managed in pasture and rangeland which are usually huge in size, and are not easily accessible by vehicles. The current research method for livestock location identification and counting is visual observation which is very time consuming and costly. For animals on large tracts of land, manned aircraft may be necessary to count animals which is noisy and disturbs the animals, and may introduce a source of error in counts. Such manual approaches are expensive, slow and labor intensive. In this paper we study the combination of small unmanned aerial vehicle (sUAV) and machine vision technology as a valuable solution to manual animal surveying. A fixed-wing UAV fitted with GPS and digital RGB camera for photogrammetry was flown at the Welder Wildlife Foundation in Sinton, TX. Over 600 acres were flown with four UAS flights and individual photographs used to develop orthomosaic imagery. To detect animals in UAV imagery, a fully automatic technique was developed based on spatial and spectral characteristics of objects. This automatic technique can even detect small animals that are partially occluded by bushes. Experimental results in comparison to ground-truth show the effectiveness of our algorithm.
Maryam Rahnemoonfar, Jamie Foster, and Michael J. Starek, "Automatic detection and counting of cattle in UAV imagery based on machine vision technology (Conference Presentation)," Proc. SPIE 10217, Sensing for Agriculture and Food Quality and Safety IX, 102170J (Presented at SPIE Commercial + Scientific Sensing and Imaging: April 13, 2017; Published: 6 June 2017); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2262830.5460687037001.
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