The canopy is the most direct and active interface layer of the interaction between plant and environment, and has important influence on energy exchange, biodiversity, ecosystem matter and climate change. The measurement about canopy structure of plant is an important foundation to analyze the pattern, process and operation mechanism of forest ecosystem. Through the study of canopy structure of plant, solar radiation, ambient wind speed, air temperature and humidity, soil evaporation, soil temperature and other forest environmental climate characteristics can be evaluated. Because of its accuracy and effectiveness, canopy structure measurement based on hemispherical photography has been widely studied. However, the traditional method of canopy structure hemispherical photogrammetry based on SLR camera and fisheye lens. This method is expensive and difficult to be used in some low-cost occasions.
In recent years, smartphone technology has been developing rapidly. The smartphone not only has excellent image acquisition ability, but also has the considerable computational processing ability. In addition, the gyroscope and positioning function on the smartphone will also help to measure the structure of the canopy. In this paper, we present a smartphone based hemispherical photography system. The system consists of smart phones, low-cost fisheye lenses and PMMA adapters. We designed an Android based App to obtain the canopy hemisphere images through low-cost fisheye lenses and provide horizontal collimation information. In addition, the App will add the acquisition location tag obtained by GPS and auxiliary positioning method in hemisphere image information after the canopy structure hemisphere image acquisition. The system was tested in the urban forest after it was completed. The test results show that the smartphone based hemispherical photography system can effectively collect the high-resolution canopy structure image of the plant.
To study the operating characteristics about PV cells, attention must be given to the dynamic behavior of the solar radiation. The dynamic behaviors of annual, monthly, daily and hourly averages of solar radiation have been studied in detail. But faster dynamic behaviors of solar radiation need more researches. The solar radiation random fluctuations in minute-long or second-long range, which lead to alternating radiation and cool down/warm up PV cell frequently, decrease conversion efficiency. Fast dynamic processes of solar radiation are mainly relevant to stochastic moving of clouds. Even in clear sky condition, the solar irradiations show a certain degree of fast variation. To evaluate operating characteristics of PV cells under fast dynamic irradiation, a solar radiation measuring array (SRMA) based on large active area photodiode, LoRa spread spectrum communication and nanoWatt MCU is proposed. This cross photodiodes structure tracks fast stochastic moving of clouds. To compensate response time of pyranometer and reduce system cost, the terminal nodes with low-cost fast-responded large active area photodiode are placed besides positions of tested PV cells. A central node, consists with pyranometer, large active area photodiode, wind detector and host computer, is placed in the center of the central topologies coordinate to scale temporal envelope of solar irradiation and get calibration information between pyranometer and large active area photodiodes. In our SRMA system, the terminal nodes are designed based on Microchip’s nanoWatt XLP PIC16F1947. FDS-100 is adopted for large active area photodiode in terminal nodes and host computer. The output current and voltage of each PV cell are monitored by I/V measurement. AS62-T27/SX1278 LoRa communication modules are used for communicating between terminal nodes and host computer. Because the LoRa LPWAN (Low Power Wide Area Network) specification provides seamless interoperability among Smart Things without the need of complex local installations, configuring of our SRMA system is very easy. Lora also provides SRMA a means to overcome the short communication distance and weather signal propagation decline such as in ZigBee and WiFi. The host computer in SRMA system uses the low power single-board PC EMB-3870 which was produced by NORCO. Wind direction sensor SM5386B and wind-force sensor SM5387B are installed to host computer through RS-485 bus for wind reference data collection. And Davis 6450 solar radiation sensor, which is a precision instrument that detects radiation at wavelengths of 300 to 1100 nanometers, allow host computer to follow real-time solar radiation. A LoRa polling scheme is adopt for the communication between host computer and terminal nodes in SRMA. An experimental SRMA has been established. This system was tested in Ganyu, Jiangshu province from May to August, 2016. In the test, the distances between the nodes and the host computer were between 100m and 1900m. At work, SRMA system showed higher reliability. Terminal nodes could follow the instructions from host computer and collect solar radiation data of distributed PV cells effectively. And the host computer managed the SRAM and achieves reference parameters well. Communications between the host computer and terminal nodes were almost unaffected by the weather. In conclusion, the testing results show that SRMA could be a capable method for fast dynamic measuring about solar radiation and related PV cell operating characteristics.
Canopies are major part of plant photosynthesis and have distinct architectural elements such as tree crowns, whorls, branches, shoots, etc. By measuring canopy structural parameters, the solar radiation interception, photosynthesis effects and the spatio-temporal distribution of solar radiation under the canopy can be evaluated. Among canopy structure parameters, Leaf Area Index (LAI) is the key one. Leaf area index is a crucial variable in agronomic and environmental studies, because of its importance for estimating the amount of radiation intercepted by the canopy and the crop water requirements. The LAI can be achieved by hemispheric images which are obtained below the canopy with high accuracy and effectiveness. But existing hemispheric images canopy-LAI measurement technique is based on digital SLR camera with a fisheye lens. Users need to collect hemispheric image manually. The SLR camera with fisheye lens is not suit for long-term canopy-LAI outdoor measurement too. And the high cost of SLR limits its capacity. In recent years, with the development of embedded system and image processing technology, low cost remote canopy hemispheric image acquisition technology is becoming possible.
In this paper, we present a remote hemispheric canopy image acquisition system with in-field/host configuration. In-field node based on imbed platform, low cost image sensor and fisheye lens is designed to achieve hemispherical image of plant canopy at distance with low cost. Solar radiation and temperature/humidity data, which are important for evaluating image data validation, are obtained for invalid hemispherical image elimination and node maintenance too. Host computer interacts with in-field node by 3G network. The hemispherical image calibration and super resolution are used to improve image quality in host computer. Results show that the remote canopy image collection system can make low cost remote canopy image acquisition for LAI effectively. It will be a potential technology candidate for low-cost remote canopy hemispherical image collection to measure canopy LAI.
Plant canopies structures are important biophysical parameters required in many ecological and climate models. To obtain precise canopies characteristic, the radiation distribution in forest gap should be tracing. In this paper, a radiation transmission measuring method with gyroscope correction for forest gap radiation distribution measurement is present. And a Zigbee wireless network is imbedded for communicating between portable full-trace radiation detector and host computer. Using the solar beam as a probe, the measuring nodes collect radiation distribution in forest gap. Because the constant pace of operator in forest and other outdoor occasion is hard to validate, radiation distribution curves suffer some error. We present a Forest radiation distribution meter with Gyro correction for TRAC measuring. In this meter, A Gyroscope records transect route data and provide speed correction for canopy gaps curve in tracing route. A Microchip PIC16F877 MCU is employed for radiation data collection. The collected data is sent to central station by Zigbee wireless network or CF376 in-line USB flash drives/SD card. Solar radiation spike data and other environment parameters (Temperature and Humidity) are sampled simultaneously. So the gap removal processes suffer less error. A portable node provides full-trace radiation distribution. Host computer can get potential relationship in tracing-line LAI and FPAR and compute them in long-term. A portable full-trace radiation detector and host computer is tested. The experimental results show our design could be a competitive candidate for radiation distribution measurement for forest plant canopies tracing.