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Enabling better global research outcomes in soil, plant & environmental monitoring.

CI-110 Digital Plant Canopy Imager

The NEW Plant Canopy Imager CI-110 captures wide-angle canopy images while estimating Leaf Area Index (LAI) and measuring Photosynthetically Active Radiation (PAR) levels. Images live-update on the built-in capacitive monitor, providing instant data for verification and analysis with integrated software in the field under any daylight conditions. User-selected zenith and azimuthal divisions allow investigation of any canopy sectors desired, and the instrument’s light-weight design makes it convenient for canopy imaging in any location! Now with updated GPS accuracy with access to four different satellite constellations, and the ability to interchange lens filters over the camera for more specific measurements.

The CI-110 directly measures:

  • Gap fraction, or visible sky, through the image captured
  • Photosynthetically active radiation through the 24-PAR sensors along the instrument’s arm
  • Sunflecks through the PAR sensors
  • Location and orientation by the installed GPS and compass

The CI-110 calculates:

  • Leaf area index (LAI)
  • Leaf angle distribution
  • Extinction coefficients

Theory of Operation

Leaf Area Index (LAI) is defined as one sided leaf area divided by the total ground area. Photosynthetically Active Radiation (PAR) designates the spectral range of solar radiation (400-700 nm). By measuring PAR and LAI simultaneously, one is able to calculate LAI and canopy parameters using a variety of methodologies.

To calculate LAI, the CI-110 captures a 150° fisheye image of the canopy, which is divided into zenith and azimuthal divisions. Using the software included on the tablet computer, the user can include or exclude any zenith and azimuth division to focus on specific portions of the canopy for study.

The most practical method for non-destructive LAI measurement is the Gap Fraction Method. Gap Fraction indicates how much of the sky is visible from beneath the plant canopy. The greater the area of sky that is visible, the larger the gap fraction.

When using the CI-110, a value between 0 and 1 is assigned to estimate the Gap Fraction in a canopy—0 means that no sky is visible below the plant canopy whereas 1 means that the entire area is sky is visible, or there is no foliage coverage. Any fraction indicates partial foliage cover.

Images taken with the CI-110 are divided into sectors according to the user-selected number of zenith and azimuthal division. The fraction of the sky (solar beam transmission coefficient) that is visible in each sector is automatically analyzed by tallying the sky portion of the image pixels in that sector. Once all sectors are analyzed and the average solar beam transmission coefficients for each zenith division are computed, the hemispherical diffuse radiation transmission coefficient (the sky view factor), mean foliage inclination angles, and plant canopy extinction coefficients are instantaneously computed by CI-110’s analysis software.

Lens Self-leveling hemispherical lens
Image Resolution 8 megapixels
Interface USB & Wi-Fi
Measuring Time < 1 Sec
Fish-Eye Lens Angle 150°
Operating Temperature 5-50° C
Weight 1.5 kg
Total Length 84 cm
PAR sensor bar & camera Length 37 cm
Camera Sensor 5 cm x 5 cm



There are 24 PAR sensors on the CI-110, located along the top of the arm spaced 10 mm apart. The PAR sensors are filtered GaAsP (gallium arsenide phosphide) photodiodes. The specifications are in the following table.

PAR Sensor Specifications
Range 0-2500 μmol/m2 s
Accuracy 5 μmol/m2 s

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