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New British-made camera detects crop disease quickly

A new camera that will detect crop disease quickly and at a significantly lower cost has been developed by British researchers, according to a news report by FarmingUK.

The technology could potentially save farmers worldwide thousands of pounds in lost produce, while increasing crop yields.

Traditional hyperspectral cameras, which can be used in agricultural management to scan crops to monitor their health, are expensive and bulky due to the nature of complex optics and electronics within the devices.

The new camera, developed by scientists at the University of the West of Scotland (UWS), contains a linear variable filter (LVF). The filter captures images in real time across the full visible spectrum of light, one wavelength at a time.

With crops, it can highlight signs of drought stress or disease which are difficult to detect by eye.

The camera will cost less than £1,000 – about a tenth of the cost of the crop cameras currently on the market. It will be commercialised via the UWS spinout Albasense Ltd, a company spinout from the UWS’s Institute of Thin Films, Sensors and Imaging (ITFSI).

Full report in FarmingUK here.

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Lukie Pieterse, Editor and Publisher

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