Luxe Beat Magazine MAY 2015 - Page 71

Wine “You could even get to the point in the future where, as in the mining industry, a lot of stuff would be robotically driven.” Prof Tyerman is not alone in thinking this way. He recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding with like-minded researchers at the University of Melbourne, the University of Talca in Chile and Spain’s University of La Rioja to share technology and ideas and seek research grants. Their combined interests range from the use of drones to hyper-spectral imaging that can produce massive amounts of information from what are essentially overhead photographs. “We invested in expensive cameras that measure the temperature of the canopy – each pixel is a measure,” he said. “Take a picture of a canopy (or a whole block if on a drone) and you can tell where the hot spots are, and that tells you whether leaves are functioning properly. We have also used that approach to test the effect of smoke on vines.” Prof Tyerman’s personal focus remains primarily on the potential of single vine sensors and infrared techniques, which keep an eye on a vineyard 24/7 and send data back to a central computer. vineyard wherever it is, and you could see what’s going on, what needs to be done in terms of spray regimes or whatever, from the sensors and the imaging that you’ve got at your fingertips. “You don’t often see something out of the ordinary in a vine unless it’s exposed to some sort of stress,” he said. “If we get a heatwave we don’t sent people out to measure, so you are missing what’s happening. But sensors don’t.” Article republished with approval, 71