On the 11th and 12th of November, project REDOX partners (DTA, Planetek, ENAV, CNR) have carried out the first flight trials in collaboration with University of Palermo aiming at detecting Xylella fastidiosa infections on olive trees crops. The activity consisted in the observation of the trees with the aid of Hyperspectral and thermal cameras boarded on a drone.
REDOX is co-financed by the Ministry for economic development. The project aims at developing early infection identification capabilities on a very large scale before the disease is visible by the human eye. This shall be achieved through the observation of the electromagnetic response of the trees.
The overflown areas is located a few kilometers west of the city of Monopoli and it is populated by potentially infected centuries old olive trees. Remotely sensed data are going to be compared to and validated with the results produced by the analysis of trees samples acquired on the field.
The flight operation has been led by Distretto Tecnologico Aerospaziale, which used its long-endurance drone to carry an hyperspectral and a thermal camera for an hour long mission.
The operation has given the opportunity to exploit a set of U-Space services provided by D-Flight (the Italian U-Space Service Provider). In particular, DTA tested the tracking prototype service by using a small transponder platform developed by TopView SRL, Pollicino.