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Precision Agriculture with a Scalable System


Often times, in the world of remote sensing, there is a need to have multiple algorithms run on a single file. It is also advantageous to be able to run the same algorithms on many different files. A lot of the algorithms and workflows can take a few minutes, so an analyst has to wait for each step to finish before proceeding to the next task. This, however, is not the case when using a server environment like ENVI Services Engine.

When using a server configuration, you can make a request to the server to start some processing, and that job will be set up in a queue. When the machine that the server is on has the resources to do that job, it will begin processing. This allows a user to set up a whole bunch of different tasks on different files while the processing runs separately from the client.

Using the ENVI Services Engine, our Custom Solutions Group built a tool to take in imagery and run multiple different algorithms and vegetation indices on it. It has a web page as a client so that you can input different parameters for different files, and click go! It also has an option to perform atmospheric correction (QUAC) on the data before running the algorithms. Once a job has completed, the web page notifies you that the task is finished, and has a link to view the results in PDF format. Here's what the version I have right now looks like in Mozilla Firefox:

Depending on the amount of processing you need to do, this system is very easy to scale up and down. If you need to process more files in less time, simply adding resources for the server will increase the number of jobs that you can run at a time. This ends up shortening the time that jobs will spend in the queue, and allows for a faster processing chain.

This is one example of tool that our Custom Solutions Group is able to build. ENVI Services Engine is a very flexible tool that allows you to incorporate any algorithm that you can write, and the controller for the algorithm has an infinite number of ways to set it up – just like webpages across the internet. If there is a custom workflow that you find cumbersome and clunky, let our experts know at geospatialinfo@nv5.com. We work to provide you with the tool that you need to run your processing with less wait, and less hassle. If you need even more speed, check out this article on GPU acceleration!