Satellite remote sensing on oil palm plantation

Satellite remote sensing on oil palm plantation

Remote sensing technologies with the use of satellites could revolutionise the management of the oil palm industry. In the e-KLESF 2021 webinar titled “Satellite Remote Sensing on Oil Palm Plantation”, the invited speaker Dr Toh Chia Ming from UTAR Lee Kong Chian Faculty of Engineering and Science gave a talk on how oil palm plantations can be monitored via satellite remote sensing with machine learning. The webinar was conducted via Zoom and Facebook Live on 27 October 2021.

Dr Toh first talked about space technology, sharing the development of the technology and how its advancement has been remarkable. “Satellite remote sensing is very useful. The earth is huge. There’s a lot of part of the earth that requires constant observation, especially in places where many do not live. For example, the North Pole. Information from there will be lesser. We use satellites to remotely observe from our computer to know what’s going on at polar ice caps.” He added that satellites are also applicable to other industries, and focused on the agricultural industry. 

Dr Toh explaining some instruments used in remote sensing

Dr Toh explaining how to identify healthy and unhealthy oil palm using satellite image

He introduced airborne and space-borne remote sensing and explained the three types of instruments commonly used which were Optical, Microwave and LiDAR. Besides talking about the characteristics of each type of instrument, he also pointed out the challenges of their applications in the industry.

“There is a huge potential for large scale oil palm plantation. Optical UAV will become very common for field and inspection. Microwave satellites which can penetrate clouds will be useful for large scale imaging, not only for agriculture but also for the estimation of forest biomass,” he said. 

Dr Toh encouraging participants to participate in the coming online event—International Geoscience and Remote Sensing Symposium (IGASS 2022)

Click here to view the video.

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