Multispectral Imaging system for Nutritional Stressing

Lead Research Organisation: University of Manchester
Department Name: Electrical and Electronic Engineering


The research proposal is to design a low
cost multispectral imaging system, which can be used to identify early symptoms of
micro nutritional stressing of crops at leaf level as well as canopy level. Though
system will initially target one specific plant species, this could then be extended to
estimate total nitrogen content, Magnesium, Potassium, Phosphate and other micro
nutrients of different types of plants. Research will include the design of a low cost
CMOS sensor based multispectral camera, suitable illumination system SoC based
embedded system, a display unit suitable for nutritional stressing analysis.

Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
EP/N509565/1 30/09/2016 29/09/2021
1918296 Studentship EP/N509565/1 29/06/2017 30/03/2021 Dingle Jose
Description (a) A novel handheld multispectral imaging kit is developed during the first year of the research. This instrument is capable of imaging plants at the leaf level and is capable of distinguishing between stressed and non-stressed plants. It is a 15 wave band system, the images are captured using a high-speed USB 3 camera and source is excited with different wavelength light sources ranging from 410nm to 940nm ( visible and near-infrared region ).
(b) A benchtop Chlorophyll fluorescence imaging system which is capable of recording live chlorophyll fluorescence data of detached leaves. The equipment is still under development and initial result are promising. The equipment can record OJIP kinetics and novel feature of the equipment is the actinic light can be modulated and could detect chlorophyll fluorescence oscillations. The advantage of the fluorescence imaging is that early plant stress can be easily detectable before it is detectable to other imaging methods
Exploitation Route The combinatorial imaging is very promising in the early detection of plants stress and classifying different stress types.
We have identified the potential of combining chlorophyll fluorescence imaging and multi-spectral imaging into a single handheld unit. especially if such an instrument is made available with user-friendly controls which can be easily operatable by non-technical people like farmers. The instrument could be then be used to identify early plant stress ( and classify different stressors ) and help in optimised fertiliser usage, as over fertilisation is common is one of the main concern in agriculture.
Sectors Agriculture, Food and Drink,Environment

Description Optimal and efficient fertiliser practices are key issues, as excess fertiliser usage always comes with an environmental cost. However sufficient nutrient levels are essential for plants rapid growth at its early stage. For sustainable and improved fertiliser management farmers requires sophisticated support tools. The (a) multispectral imaging tool (b) Chlorophyll fluorescence imaging kit and are developed keeping this in mind. With improvements in hardware, software and mechanical arrangement these tools could be used in by farmers , agronomists, environmental engineers and other experts in the agriculture field in the near future. The (c) combinatorial tool described in key findings could be a very valuable tool in this area, I am at present working on this at the moment.
Sector Agriculture, Food and Drink,Environment
Title Second generation Hand held multispectral imaging instrument 
Description A second generation multispectral Imaging instrument is developed which is based on the initial prototype developed in the first of the year of this research by myself. This second-generation tool is developed by a Research associative and a collaborative body outside the university of manchester. This instrument is then used to study the viral vectors of cassava mosaic virus infestation using a novel machine-learning algorithm ( which is still in development ). 
Type Of Material Improvements to research infrastructure 
Year Produced 2020 
Provided To Others? No  
Impact Work is still in progress. 
Title Chlorophyll Florescence Imaging system 
Description A chlorophyll fluorescence Imaging system capable of recording continuous excitation chlorophyll fluorescence, plotting OJIP kinetics, Quenching is developed. A notable feature of the unit is it is capable of modulating the actinic light sinusoidally and record the variable fluorescence kinetics and to detect any oscillation associated. 
Type Of Technology Physical Model/Kit 
Year Produced 2020 
Impact Equipment still in development phase. Potential in the commercial route 
Title Hand held 15 band Multi-spectral Imaging system 
Description A 15 band multispectral Imaging unit is developed during the first year of this research is capable of imaging at leaf level. The leaf to be imaged is placed in between a clamp-like arrangement, the user interface is provided with an 8-inch touch screen arrangement. The kit consists of a high-speed USB3 camera and LED array from 410nm to 940nm and is capable of acquiring the images in this range within 5 seconds. the kit stores the data in internal SSD and the kit consists of a LED driving unit, data synchronization unit and an embedded PC. As there is potential for the commercial route the researcher is advised by supervisor and other members not to publish technical details into journals. 
Type Of Technology Physical Model/Kit 
Year Produced 2018 
Impact A slightly modified unit based on this equipment was developed under the e-Agri unit and used that equipment is now currently used in further research. 
Description Agri-Food Research-sharing Ideas 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact Agri-Food research meetings were organised and chaired by Prof.Bruce Grieve and consist of members of N8-Agrifood and Agrifood research managers collaborators and other fellow PhD students, spinout company members from the e-Agri group, research associates, research assistants. The members used to meet every fortnight and discussed their research findings in their respective research areas.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018,2019
Description N8-Agri-Food Nigerian Cowpea Breeders - GCRF/ QR May 2019 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact The N8-Agrifood research team from Nigeria visited Univerity of Manchester to share their research findings and to learn more about the multispectral imaging instruments the E-Agri research unit is researching on here at Manchester University. I presented my key findings and outcomes of the main experiment in front of the audience.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
Description Poster Presentation , University of Manchester 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Poster Meeting od PhD students organised by the University of Manchester. Each researcher was asked to make a 'poster- presentation' with the details, present state of their research, major findings till date and future plans the progress of their research. Researchers met experts from the field, policymakers and industrial experts and explained in details what their research and key findings and future plans possible impacts the research going to make in the respective field.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
Description University of Melbourne , GCRF / QR visit 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Researchers from the University of Melbourne visited e-Agri centre , Sackvillestreet Building , University of Manchester during 10th - 14th of June to presnt their work in the field of multispectral imaging and to learn more about the work in e-Agri unit.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019