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Evaluating the potential of the red edge channel for C3 (Festuca spp.) grass discrimination using Sentinel-2 and Rapid Eye satellite image data

Otunga, Charles, Odindi, John, Mutanga, Onisimo, Adjorlolo, Clement
Geocarto international 2019 v.34 no.10 pp. 1123-1143
C3 plants, Festuca, algorithms, discriminant analysis, grasses, range management, remote sensing, satellites, spectral analysis, vegetation index
Integrating the Red Edge channel in satellite sensors is valuable for plant species discrimination. Sentinel-2 MSI and Rapid Eye are some of the new generation satellite sensors that are characterized by finer spatial and spectral resolution, including the red edge band. The aim of this study was to evaluate the potential of the red edge band of Sentinel-2 and Rapid Eye, for mapping festuca C3 grass using discriminant analysis and maximum likelihood classification algorithms. Spectral bands, vegetation indices and spectral bands plus vegetation indices were analysed. Results show that the integration of the red edge band improved the festuca C3 grass mapping accuracy by 5.95 and 4.76% for Sentinel-2 and Rapid Eye when the red edge bands were included and excluded in the analysis, respectively. The results demonstrate that the use of sensors with strategically positioned red edge bands, could offer information that is critical for the sustainable rangeland management.