The DAISy Lab @ USU
The DAISy (Digital Agro-environment and Intelligent Systems) Lab aims to advance our understanding of the natural environment by developing new use cases for mobile and optical sensor systems to monitor environmental and agricultural processes.
The lab currently has two major thrusts: (1) nondestructive, optical sensing to model and predict characteristics of biological materials, and (2) integration of sensing and sampling technologies with mobile aerial and aquatic vehicles for novel environmental monitoring. Current applications of interest and pursuit include evaluating water quality using UAS, measuring earth surface processes with ground-based instrumentation, and monitoring crops across various agricultural production systems with optical sensors.
Selected Recently Completed and Ongoing Projects
Surface and aerial vehicles to advance water quality monitoring for aquaculture
Our ongoing project through the National Robotics Initiative aims to develop surface and aerial vehicles for smart sampling of coliform bacteria. In collaboration with faculty from NC State, we are currently integrating water quality models with sampling and planning strategies for shellfish production areas along the coast of NC. Field studies are ongoing -- stay tuned for publications currently in progress!
Hyperspectral imaging for managing industrial hemp
Through a project funded by the NC Ag Foundation, we developed methods using hyperspectral imagery to evaluate the growth stage, cultivar, and cannabinoid content in industrial hemp flowers and leaves. This project also aimed at understanding the effects of harvest date and transplant date on biomass and cannabinoid production.
Hyperspectral imaging to advance breeding of Loblolly pine
In collaboration with the NC Tree Improvement Program, we developed methods for high-throughput screening of loblolly pine seedlings for disease and cold tolerance. Notably, this work found that the top half of the stem contains the most information for identifying rust disease post-inoculation. Further, we were able to predict the mean minimum winter temperature of the seed source using hyperspectral images of seedlings prior to exposure to freezing events.
Exploring new applications for aerial vehicles
Our group is interested in exploring new ways to expand the capabilities of and find new uses for aerial platforms for agricultural and environmental applications. Recently, we've developed a lightweight payload for performing controlled pollinations in loblolly pine orchards. Other areas of ongoing exploration include soil moisture measurement, water quality monitoring, and water sampling with drones.