Areas of competencePhoto: Manuel Gutjahr
The area of competence "Engineering for Crop Production" aims to find production relevant parameters for precise management of plant cultivation processes. This includes the measurement of system states in the field, the modelling of interactions between soil, plant and environment as well as the adaptive demand-based controlling of production processes.
For handling those complex research questions, we pool expertise from the areas agronomy, electronics, sensor technology, data processing, (geo) statistics and machine engineering. Competences in the field of machine learning, especially image data analysis, are extended in cooperation with the junior research group "Data Science in Agriculture".
Primary research goal is the knowledge-based management of diversity for a sustainable intensification in crop production. Timely and spatially differentiated status monitoring of soils and plants as well as the deduction of appropriate management measures is the basis for this. We use the process knowledge of plant cultivation gained by plant protection and soil science to identify process-relevant parameters and also for decision making and activity design. Based on competences in electronics and sensor technology, we develop new measurement principles. Additionally, we can adapt measurement processes according to specific needs of agriculture. Special knowledge of data processing enables us to build complex physiologic and physical models for process management. Knowing of agricultural engineering is the ground for automation and optimizing machine working processes.
Research infrastructure includes a field lab with its own experimental fields and a soil sensor test track at the research site Marquardt. For field experiments there is a diverse, mobile-usable sensor portfolio (Vis-NIR-Spectrometry, geoelectrics, multispectral cameras) at hand including ground and aerial sensor carriers as well as highly accurate location determination.
The preprocessing and analysis of samples are made in the respective laboratories: optical laboratory with raman spectrometer and X-ray fluorescence, laboratory with THz spectroscopy.
The construction of prototypes for electrical and mechanical components leads to the aimed development of measurement principles.
Additional computational capacities conduce to the analysis of aerial images (Agisoft) and complex calculations (Matlab, SolidWorks).