Sensors (May 2022)

Spectra Fusion of Mid-Infrared (MIR) and X-ray Fluorescence (XRF) Spectroscopy for Estimation of Selected Soil Fertility Attributes

  • Lalit M. Kandpal,
  • Muhammad A. Munnaf,
  • Cristina Cruz,
  • Abdul M. Mouazen

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 22, no. 9
p. 3459


Read online

Previous works indicate that data fusion, compared to single data modelling can improve the assessment of soil attributes using spectroscopy. In this work, two different kinds of proximal soil sensing techniques i.e., mid-infrared (MIR) and X-ray fluorescence (XRF) spectroscopy were evaluated, for assessment of seven fertility attributes. These soil attributes include pH, organic carbon (OC), phosphorous (P), potassium (K), magnesium (Mg), calcium (Ca) and moisture contents (MC). Three kinds of spectra fusion (SF) (spectra concatenation) approaches of MIR and XRF spectra were compared, namely, spectra fusion-Partial least square (SF-PLS), spectra fusion-Sequential Orthogonalized Partial least square (SF-SOPLS) and spectra fusion-Variable Importance Projection-Sequential Orthogonalized Partial least square (SF-VIP-SOPLS). Furthermore, the performance of SF models was compared with the developed single sensor model (based on individual spectra of MIR and XRF). Compared with the results obtained from single sensor model, SF models showed improvement in the prediction performance for all studied attributes, except for OC, Mg, and K prediction. More specifically, the highest improvement was observed with SF-SOPLS model for pH [R2p = 0.90, root mean square error prediction (RMSEP) = 0.15, residual prediction deviation (RPD) = 3.30, and ratio of performance inter-quantile (RPIQ) = 3.59], successively followed by P (R2p = 0.91, RMSEP = 4.45 mg/100 g, RPD = 3.53, and RPIQ = 4.90), Ca (R2p = 0.92, RMSEP = 177.11 mg/100 g, RPD = 3.66, and RPIQ = 3.22) and MC (R2p = 0.80, RMSEP = 1.91%, RPD = 2.31, RPIQ = 2.62). Overall the study concluded that SF approach with SOPLS attained better performance over the traditional model developed with the single sensor spectra, hence, SF is recommended as the best SF method for improving the prediction accuracy of studied soil attributes. Moreover, the multi-sensor spectra fusion approach is not limited for only MIR and XRF data but in general can be extended for complementary information fusion in order to improve the model performance in precision agriculture (PA) applications.