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The emergence of precision agriculture technologies and an increasing demand for higher quality grape products has led to a growing interest in Precision Viticulture. Actually, cultural monitoring is the most important application in PV systems: it requires specific technologies able to investigate the cultural conditions. To this aim, typically remote sensing surveys are adopted. These, anyhow, involve technical, economical and organisational barriers hampering a wide diffusion of their application. In order to overcome these problems, it would be necessary to substitute and/or integrate remote sensing information with alternative ground sensing technologies, to be employed directly inside the vineyard. This paper considers a commercial optical sensor, the GreenSeeker, useful in ground sensing surveys, and it compares its performances in monitoring vine with results obtained by a multispectral digital camera used as a tester. The experimentation was carried out in a greenhouse, on an artificial row including 15 grapevines (Cabernet Sauvignon variety). In front of the row, it was fixed a metallic rail gauge in order to permit a longitudinal movement of the Greenseeker sensor. Each plant was investigated at three different heights with a 5 s data time acquisition. Simultaneously, photos of the same grapevine were took by a multispectral digital camera, in order to obtain NDVI values through image analysis. The multispectral digital camera, normally used for remote sensing survey in agriculture, was considered as a test. Results demonstrate a strength correlation (R2 = 0.97) between the NDVI values measured through the two methods. This shows the same behaviour of the two tools, according to crop vigour and stress conditions induced into the plants. Consequently the GreenSeeker can be considered as a suitable solution for cultural monitoring in viticulture.
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