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Agronomy Journal Abstract -

Aerial Thermal Scanner to Determine Temperatures of Soils and of Crop Canopies Differing in Water Stress1


This article in AJ

  1. Vol. 64 No. 5, p. 603-608
    Received: Nov 15, 1971

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  1. J. F. Bartholic,
  2. L. N. Namkem and
  3. C. L. Wiegand2



An airplane-mounted thermal scanner was used to measure irradiance in the 8- to 14-μm wavelength interval over an extensively instrumented agricultural area. The area included soils differing in water and tillage condition, and replicated cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.) plots with a wide range of plant water stress. The scanner data were recorded on analog magnetic tape and on 70-mm film. The film densities of the various soil and cotton treatments and film calibration information were determined with a microdensitometer. The observed itradiances corresponded to cotton plant canopy temperature differences up to 6 C between the most and the least water-stressed plots. The irradiance data from soils showed large differences as a function of time after tillage and irrigation. It is concluded that thermal imagery offers potential as a useful aid for delineating waterstressed and nonstressed fields, evaluating uniformity of irrigation, and evaluating surface soil water conditions.

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