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Wine improves with age but also with very high-resolution satellite imagery

(Munich, 24/05/16) Researchers in Greece reveal that using satellite imagery can improve the quality of wine and help manage the grape harvest.

Normally grapes need to be tested throughout the growing season by people walking through the fields using hand-held spectrometers. The data collected is used to determine when nutrients, pesticides and additional water should be applied to optimize grape growth. But gathering this way is a slow process, expensive and it is hard to analyse the whole field at once.

In a recent case study published by European Space Imaging – “Multispectral VHR Imagery Supports Crop Management in Vineyards”’, the Remote Sensing Laboratory at the National Technical University of Athens, Greece explains the benefits of using pan-sharpened, multispectral WorldView-2 satellite imagery for improving grape quality.

They tested the data information quality in four vineyards in northern Greece comparing data gathered on the ground with the information collected via the satellite sensor at the same time on the same day with the aim of understanding if there is a benefit using Earth observation data.

The University worked with TotalView, a European Space Imaging reseller in Greece, to coordinate the collection of the satellite imagery concurrent to the collection of the field measurements. For them this was the best way to be able to obtain two comparable two data sets.

“We were very satisfied because WorldView-2 (data) provided atmospherically corrected images that correlated with the field observations,” said Konstantinos Karantzalos, Assistant Professor at the University’s Remote Sensing Laboratory. “We plan to continue research using the WorldView-2 image data and believe a commercially viable service involving the creation of high-resolution vegetation index maps for winemakers could become reality in the near future. The accuracy and value of these maps will be greatly enhanced through collection of satellite data at multiple times during the growing season.”

The study proved that information from satellite imagery is of equal quality to the ground-based measurements but can cover a greater area of the vineyard in a shorter period of time. This means that viticulturists who decide to include satellite information in their crop management planning could benefit from improved harvests.

Of course, the real aim is to assist the winemakers to produce more and better wines, which will also be a positive outcome for wine lovers.

Read the case study

About European Space Imaging
European Space Imaging (EUSI) is the ‘go to’ company in Europe if you are looking for very high-resolution satellite data. They always offer customers access to the highest resolution imagery available. Their current ’best’ offering is 30 cm data from the DigitalGlobe WorldView-3 satellite. EUSI also operate a multi-mission ground station to provide direct satellite tasking. This enables optimized image collection strategies, flexibility and real-time weather assessments for new collections. With a reputation for expert and personalized customer service EUSI has been providing tailored VHR imagery solutions from their Munich headquarters to meet the diverse project requirements of their customer base since 2002.

About TotalView
TotalView is a WorldView Global Alliance authorized reseller based in Athens, Greece. With a strong engineering background, the firm provides advanced image processing capabilities to agricultural and other organizations involved in commercial and academic projects. TotalView resells and offers value-added services related to a variety of satellite, aerial and UAV remote sensing platforms.

About Remote Sensing Laboratory
The Remote Sensing Laboratory of the National Technical University of Athens was established in November 1987 to serve research and educational needs in the fields of Remote Sensing and Image Analysis, as well as support various applications in Earth observation, environmental monitoring, agriculture and cadastral mapping.