Areas of competence

Photo: Manuel Gutjahr

WG Precision Horticulture

The WG Precision Horticulture utilises in-situ sensor data of the fruit tree or vegetable plant at the production site aimed at optimising agronomic models.

The group works on
(i) the extraction of plant information from the sensor signals, and
(ii) integration of the plant data into the production process.

The information on the actual plant status enables the precise adaptation of the production processes. We focus our applications on responses to abiotic stress such as water shortage and high global radiation, carbon balancing, and growth prediction. Here we apply existing models, but optimise them with the information on the plant needs. The precise adaptation of the production process to the plant needs reduces the waste of resources, while enabling high yields.

Fruit detection in an apple orchard by means of a 3D point cloud to optimally adapt the irrigation to the fruit development phase 

Efficiency of the photosystem II on citrus trees, measured at oxygen deficiency in the root area, caused by flooding.

Research equipment

  • Thin-film sensor for mechanical load
  • Texture Analyzer
  • Dynamic load sensor to implant in fruits
  • Temperature corrected refractometer
  • Multi-spectral refractometer
  • Electro-chemical gas sensors
  • Oxygen micro sensor system
  • GC
  • U-HPLC
  • Fluorescence spectroscopy
  • Time-resolved fluorescence spectrometry
  • Vis/NIR spectrophotometry (190 nm – 2500 nm) in various optical geometries
  • Calibration stand (wavelength and intensity) for Vis/NIRS
  • Optical bench
  • Laser-induced spatially resolved spectroscopy (SRS)
  • Tool for photometric fruit pigment analysis
  • Terrestrial mobile LiDAR laser scanners
  • Calibration stand (geometric and intensity) for LiDAR laser scanner
  • Thermal cameras
  • Hyperspectral camera
  • Scholander bomb
  • Sapflow meter
  • dendrometer
  • IRGA porometer
  • Chlorophyll fluorescence kinetic

Free software tools developed by the group: (R Code for Monte-Carlo Simulation on backscattering data) (Matlab Code for calculating land surface temperature and vegetation indices from Landsat 8 satellite) (mobile App to record time series of fruit development) (mobile App for analyzing the cherry fruit growth)

Group leader

Team of the WG Precision horticulture

MSc Nikolaos (Nikos) Tsoulias
MSc Martin Penzel
MSc Kowshik Saha
MSc Yang Zhou (Zoe)
Dipl.-Ing. (FH) Christian Regen
Stefan Elwert
Gabriele (Gabi) Wegner
Corinna Rolleczek
Guest scientists:
Dr. Mohammad Zare (SME, Luxembourg)
Dr. habil. Laszlo Baranyai (Szent-István-University, Hungary)
External PhD students:
MSc Nicole Brandes (Humboldt University Berlin, Germany)
MSc AJ Daniels (Stellenbosch University, South Africa)