Use of Drones and Satellite Images to Assess the Health of Date Palm Trees

Yaseen Al-Mulla, Amna Al-Ruehelli

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Remote sensing techniques using drones platforms have been suggested as a potential detection method for plants diseases as it allows for large scale monitoring and effective data analysis techniques. There are 7.6 million date palm trees currently planted in the farms in Oman covering an area of 23241 hectares or 35% of total agricultural area in the Sultanate in addition to 0.9 million palm trees planted in homes or for landscaping in public parks and alongside the roads. Hence, date palm is considered as plant number one in the country with total production of around 317 million kg of dates. However, date palm trees in the Sultanate are under threat due to the spread of pests including red palm weevil. The main objective of this study was to precisely identify infested date palm trees using airborne remote sensing tools including VHR satellite images and Unmanned Vehicles Aircraft (Drone). This study aimed to explore the potential of airborne remote sensing datasets of multispectral and high-resolution RGB images, to diagnose date palms infested with pests for the study area within and around SQU AES farm. The preliminary analysis resulted in finding a new serious disease started to affect the date palm trees in the study area. We were able to determine its unique spectral signature and by which infected plants were identified over a large scale area using determined signature and the drone based aerial images.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication2020 IEEE International Geoscience and Remote Sensing Symposium, IGARSS 2020 - Proceedings
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
Number of pages4
ISBN (Electronic)9781728163741
Publication statusPublished - Sep 26 2020
Externally publishedYes
Event2020 IEEE International Geoscience and Remote Sensing Symposium, IGARSS 2020 - Virtual, Waikoloa, United States
Duration: Sep 26 2020Oct 2 2020

Publication series

NameInternational Geoscience and Remote Sensing Symposium (IGARSS)


Conference2020 IEEE International Geoscience and Remote Sensing Symposium, IGARSS 2020
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityVirtual, Waikoloa


  • assessment
  • date palm
  • disease
  • Drone
  • Satellite images

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science Applications
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)

Cite this