Precision Horticulture

Group Leader: Prof. Manuela Zude

Affiliation: Leibniz Institute for Agricultural Engineering and Bioeconomy (ATB), Germany

Research Topics: fruit quality; irrigation; oxygen shortage; spatially resolved spectroscopy, frequency based spectroscopy


The group Prec_Hort works on research questions related to precise production measures in fruit growing. The group is active in the development of optical sensors and turning the signals into plant information. The plant information obtained is used in the agronomic processes. The Prec_Hort work group is located in the Leibniz Institute for Agricultural Engineering and Biotechnology (ATB), Potsdam, Germany. Here we have an optical laboratory and an experimental station providing some two thousand apple trees with two cultivars in random design and sweet cherry trees capturing >70 varieties to run experiments. We are a group of five researchers in various steps of our careers supported by excellent engineers.

Aquaphotomics work

Our research questions target the following three steps to integrate sensors in the precise fruit production:

  • Characterisation of physical properties of fresh fruit
  • The in-situ assessment of fruit by means of spectral-optical (multi- and hyper-spectral methods in the visible and near infrared wavelength range, time-resolved laser-induced fluorescence spectroscopy, spatially resolved spectroscopy [backscattering imaging]) and whole trees by means of light detection and ranging laser scanners.
  • Applications of Precision Horticulture such as zone-specific harvest management and more precise irrigation management considering soil zones, plant growth (leaf area) and fruit developmental stage

Any exchange within Aquaphotomics on the optical sensing and its application would be very interesting to us.