A project to improve the integrated control of pests using photonic engineering is successfully completed

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The Automatic Hyperspectral Pest Counter, a project developed by the Centre for Sensors, Instruments and Systems Development (CD6) of the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (UPC) , has been completed successfully.

This project, which started in 2021, is in line with a trend based on an automated strategy that is environmentally friendly. One of the great challenges of agriculture is to achieve sustainable production. With this aim in mind, the system that has been developed uses multispectral image technology to obtain images of georeferenced insect traps and provide automatic counts in real time.

Algorithms and machine learning

Through efficient algorithms based on automatic learning (machine learning), the systems can identify the type of insect associated with the pest and process large amounts of data.

This technological innovation enables agriculturalists to achieve maximum performance against small insect pests. The solution optimises the time resources dedicated to monitoring and control systems for current pests that mainly require periodic, manual readings and counts.

Pilot adaptation to the citric sector

The Automatic Hyperspectral Pest Counter has been optimised first to detect California red scale that affect the production of citric crops. In this sector, Spain produces approximately 25% of the total output in the European Union.

The system developed has been patented and licensed for use. Now that the project has ended, tasks are being carried out to extend its use to other pests.

Project with European support

The project was cofinanced by the European Union through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and was supported by the Secretary of Universities and Research of the Government of Catalonia’s Department of Business and Knowledge.

The team was comprised of four people and the total budget was approximately 200,000 euros.

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