Top of page
Global Site Navigation

School of Science

Local Section Navigation

Help us improve our content by rating this page.

Page rating system

Please leave a comment about your rating so we can better understand how we might improve the page.

You are here: Main Content

Mr Paul Symonds

Overview of thesis

The proposed project will focus on adding a camera sensor to a real-time multi-laser based spectral reflectance measurement unit developed and patented by the Electron Science Research Institute. The spectral reflectance unit is capable of performing green-from-green discrimination in real-time and the doctoral research will investigate:

  • optimising discrimination capability, by correlating extracted plant 2-D spatial information with spectral reflectance measurements.
  • improving discrimination reliability, by statistically classifying a required plant with a known probability of detection and probability of false alarm, using identified, measureable parameters extracted from segmented images.
  • real-time hardware and software implementation of the developed image processing and image analysis algorithms.

The research output will be the development of a world-first proof-of-concept, proximal, boom mounted dual sensor system for use in the agricultural sector for the purpose of spot spraying weeds in an actual cropping environment, at practical operating speeds of 10km/hr and above. The system has the potential to become a key component of Precision Agriculture in the grains industry and will aim to deliver an 80% application reduction in herbicide currently used per hectare, increase efficiency of weed control, decrease the risk of herbicide resistance and environmental contamination, and provide a direct increase in on-farm profitability.


  • BSc. Electrical and Electronic Engineering, University of Cape Town, South Africa.
  • MSc. Electrical Engineering, University of Cape Town, South Africa.



Mr Paul Symonds
PhD Student
Electron Science Research Institute
Telephone: (61 8) 6304 2366

Skip to top of page