Training on use of research equipment to staff AccuPar instrument on rice field and Snapshot Wild camera

Biniam Sisheber Tilahun, who is one of the PhD candidates of the EENSAT project, provided a training on AccuPar instrument and Snapshot Wild camera. The training, which consisted of both theoretical and practical sessions, was provided to 21 Bahir Dar University academic staff members and postgraduate students (see the photographs below). Among the trainees, four of them were female. For the training, a PowerPoint presentation and manual was prepared and provided to the trainees.

The training included the following contents:

  • The hardware setup
  • Instrument configuration using the AccuPAR menus, namely config, PAR/LAI sampling, Log and the Data menu. The configuration process is essential to connect the external sensor with wand and to make simultaneous above and below canopy PAR measurements without having to keep moving the instrument in and out of the canopy.
  • Input parameters and calibration- The LAI calculation using the AccuPAR ceptometer requires information about the zenith angle, fraction of beam radiation, and the leaf angle distribution. The zenith angle and fraction of beam radiation was automatically calculated when setting geographic location of the sample sites and setting the local time. Leaf distribution parameter (χ) describes how leaves are oriented in the space and light is intercepted by the leaves. Hence, it was the most difficult parameter to determine. The values for the target crops were estimated using the percentage vertical and horizontal gap fraction. To get accurate LAI measurement, the AccuPAR was calibrated at each stage of data collection and location.
  • Sampling protocols including sample field preparation, calibration of AccuPAR’s probe, light bar and external sensor, and taking the light readings (place the instrument completely below the canopy, properly place the ceptometer between the rows, place the quadrants between the rows, Place the wand completely below the canopy, take readings by pressing the down arrow key and save readings by pressing Enter button or discard using ESC).
  • Download data from the light bar by installing the LP-80 software utility (cd that comes with light bar) and downloading and saving the data as an excel file by following the steps in the manual.

 The training also introduced the trainees how to setup and operate the Snapshot Wild camera for crop biophysical measurement.

Figure 1: A) Instrument setup at the field, B) External sensor mounted C) Field Measurement D) Saving sample data

 Figure 2: Training on AccuPar instrument on rice field