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A bibliometric analysis on the use of unmanned aerial vehicles in agricultural and forestry studies

Raparelli, Elisabetta, Bajocco, Sofia
International journal of remote sensing 2019 v.40 no.24 pp. 9070-9083
agricultural products, air quality, bibliometric analysis, cameras, canopy, forestry, georeferencing, lidar, monitoring, precision agriculture, radar, remote sensing, unmanned aerial vehicles, vegetation
The unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) represent one of the most important innovation technologies of the last years; the progress made in the field of sensors has allowed to equip the UAVs with various devices: high resolution digital cameras, multi-spectral cameras, LIDAR, sensors for air quality monitoring, as well as devices for transporting and distributing agricultural products, sanitary facilities, commercial products, etc. The equipping of drones with optical, radar and thermal sensors, in association with georeferencing systems, enabled to support scientific investigations in both agriculture and forestry research fields. In this perspective, the aim of this work is to analyze the scientific production of the last twenty years on the use of UAVs in agriculture and forestry research in terms of: number of papers, type of publications, journals, countries, scientific organizations involved, and keywords used. Results demonstrated that the UAV-based research is still largely fragmented, but with emerging topics, and that agriculture and forestry exploit different aspects of UAV technologies: the former mainly focused on precision farming and crop status monitoring, while the latter on laser and radar data for canopy structural analysis and vegetation mapping.