Satellites are one of the most used means in agriculture to perform remote sensing. The satellite imagery in fact allows to monitor crops remotely in a precise and efficient way.
Spatial and temporal resolution of satellites
There are many satellites that acquire multispectral images from space: the most common are Sentinel-2 and Landsat 8 (both used in Agricolus platform), Planetscope and Sky Sat. The images obtained have a spatial resolution of a few meters: Landsat 8 provides data with a spatial resolution of 30 m, while Sentinel-2 of 10, 20 or 60 m (depending on the band), Planetscope of 3 m and SkySat of 1 m.
The temporal resolution is in most cases regular. For example, Landsat 8 is available every 16 days, while Sentinel-2 is available every 3/5 days (depending on the zone). Planetscope and Skysat have a daily resolution.
The regular passage of the satellites determines the availability of the data in several phases of the growing season, but it is also important to underline that during the satellite transit, where the area under examination is covered by clouds, the data is not usable.
Thanks to a sophisticated proprietary technological structure, Agricolus is able to manage several services and process satellite images autonomously.
Through the Copernicus Open Access Hub portal, Agricolus has access to Sentinel-2 satellite data and integrates them to provide vegetation indices to end users. The integration of satellite imagery is done through the DIAS (Copernicus Data and Information Access Service) service of the ONDA consortium, initiated by the European Commission, and ESA.
Satellite imagery is then cropped to field boundaries with the support of L3Harris Geospatial technologies.
Finally, Sentinel-2 bands are processed by Agricolus to calculate multiple indices of vigor, water stress and chlorophyll. Indices are provided for all available dates, automatically excluding images with cloud cover.
Vegetation indices obtained by satellite