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This page contains archived content and is no longer being updated. At the time of publication, it represented the best available science.
These three false-color images demonstrate some of the applications of
remote sensing in precision farming. The goal of precision farming is to
improve farmers profits and harvest yields while reducing the negative
impacts of farming on the environment that come from over-application of chemicals. The images
were acquired by the Daedalus sensor aboard a NASA aircraft
flying over the Maricopa Agricultural Center in Arizona. The top image shows the
color variations determined by crop density (also referred to as
#147;Normalized Difference Vegetation Index, or NDVI), where dark blues and
greens indicate lush vegetation and reds show areas of bare soil. The
middle image is a map of water deficit, derived from the Daedalus
reflectance and temperature measurements. Greens
and blues indicate wet soil and reds are dry soil. The
bottom image shows where crops are under serious stress, as is
particularly the case in Fields 120 and 119 (indicated by red and yellow
pixels). These fields were due to be irrigated the following day.