Appropriate characterization of intra-parcel variability is a key element for the effective application of precision farming techniques. Nowadays there are many platforms available to end users differing for pixel spatial resolution and the type of acquisition (remote or proximal). A challenging aspect pertaining to remote sensing image acquisition in the vineyard ecosystem is that, in a large majority of cases, vegetation is discontinuous and single rows alternate with strips of either bare or grassed soil. In this paper, four different satellite platforms (Sentinel-2, Spot-6, Pleiades, and WorldView-3) having different spatial resolution and MECS-VINE® proximity sensor were compared in terms of accuracy at describing spatial variability. Vineyard mapping was coupled with detailed ground truthing of growth, yield, and grape composition variables. The analysis was conducted based on vigor indices (Normalized Difference Vegetation Index or Canopy Index) and using the Moran Index (MI) to assess the degree of spatial auto-correlation for the different variables. The results obtained showed a large degree of intra-plot variability in the main agronomic parameters (pruning weight CV: 33.86%, yield: 32.09%). The univariate Moran index showed a log-linear function relating MI coefficients to the resolution levels. Comparison between vigor indices and agronomic data showed that the highest bivariate MI was reached by Pleiades followed by MECS-VINE® which also did not exhibit the negative effect of the border pixel owing to the proximal scanning acquisition. Despite WorldView-3′ s high resolution (1.24 m pixel) allowing very detailed data imaging, the comparison with ground-truth data was not encouraging, probably due to the presence of pure ground pixels, while Sentinel-2 was affected by the oversized pixel at 10 m.
- Moran’s index (MI), normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI), spatial variability
- Spatial correlation
- Satellite performance
- Precision viticulture