Remote Sensing

Appears in

Oxford Companion to Wine

Oxford Companion to Wine

By Jancis Robinson

Published 2006

  • About

remote sensing is the detection and/or measurement of features on the Earth’s surface using sensors mounted on satellite or aircraft platforms. Its application in viticulture is almost entirely confined to the inference of vigour and canopy condition. This is achieved by sensing the amount of sunlight that is reflected from a vineyard in the visible (blue, green, red) and near infrared parts of the electromagnetic spectrum and calculating ratios between them. Commonly used indices in viticulture are plant cell density (PCD) and, to a lesser extent, normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI). Research has shown veraison to be the optimal time to acquire remotely sensed imagery of vineyards, especially with respect to its use in precision viticulture or zonal viticulture. Because patterns of variation in vine vigour and yield have been shown to be stable over time, many adopters of precision viticulture have tended to base their targeted management decisions on remotely sensed imagery rather than on maps derived from yield monitors.