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This content will become publicly available on December 1, 2024

Title: TSWIFT: Tower Spectrometer on Wheels for Investigating Frequent Timeseries for high-throughput phenotyping of vegetation physiology
Abstract Background Remote sensing instruments enable high-throughput phenotyping of plant traits and stress resilience across scale. Spatial (handheld devices, towers, drones, airborne, and satellites) and temporal (continuous or intermittent) tradeoffs can enable or constrain plant science applications. Here, we describe the technical details of TSWIFT (Tower Spectrometer on Wheels for Investigating Frequent Timeseries), a mobile tower-based hyperspectral remote sensing system for continuous monitoring of spectral reflectance across visible-near infrared regions with the capacity to resolve solar-induced fluorescence (SIF). Results We demonstrate potential applications for monitoring short-term (diurnal) and long-term (seasonal) variation of vegetation for high-throughput phenotyping applications. We deployed TSWIFT in a field experiment of 300 common bean genotypes in two treatments: control (irrigated) and drought (terminal drought). We evaluated the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI), photochemical reflectance index (PRI), and SIF, as well as the coefficient of variation (CV) across the visible-near infrared spectral range (400 to 900 nm). NDVI tracked structural variation early in the growing season, following initial plant growth and development. PRI and SIF were more dynamic, exhibiting variation diurnally and seasonally, enabling quantification of genotypic variation in physiological response to drought conditions. Beyond vegetation indices, CV of hyperspectral reflectance showed the most variability across genotypes, treatment, and time in the visible and red-edge spectral regions. Conclusions TSWIFT enables continuous and automated monitoring of hyperspectral reflectance for assessing variation in plant structure and function at high spatial and temporal resolutions for high-throughput phenotyping. Mobile, tower-based systems like this can provide short- and long-term datasets to assess genotypic and/or management responses to the environment, and ultimately enable the spectral prediction of resource-use efficiency, stress resilience, productivity and yield.  more » « less
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Plant Methods
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National Science Foundation
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