Up to now, there have been gaps in light simulations, especially for cultivated plants. This is because while optical properties of deciduous trees and arable plants have already been researched, shelter-grown plants, such as the greenhouse cucumber, have not been considered so far.
In this research project, therefore, an optical structure model of young cucumber plants is to be developed, which will serve as a forerunner for the virtual testing of optical sensor technology. The field of application of virtual plants will thus be expanded so that engineers will be able to test new measurement methods for plants virtually in the future. Another area of application is phenotyping, in which specific morphological characteristics of the plant architecture can be linked to multiple sensor responses.
The success of the project depends on precise spectral characterisation of the optical elements, which is why data acquisition is a significant part of the research project. In addition to modern photometric measuring equipment, a 3D scanner specially built for the project will be used to digitise the plants.
This forward-looking project will not only benefit the engineering sciences, but also disciplines that deal with virtual plants in general. The data situation will be considerably enhanced by the targeted modelling of a model plant, the publication of the model and the associated data – and the project will thus set new standards in plant research.
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