CRUSH Project

Sculptor: Gino Miles
Photo: Brad Lobitz


Lee Johnson1 (Principal Investigator), Daniel Bosch2, Paul Skinner3, Philip Freese4, Kevin Spry5, Brad Lobitz6, David Peterson7

During and after the 1997 growing season, the NASA/Ames Ecosystem Science and Technology Branch (ECOSAT) (Mountain View CA) teamed with the Robert Mondavi Winery (Oakville CA) and Wine Grow Consulting (Healdsburg CA) to evaluate the technical and economic feasibility of using airborne images to improve crop uniformity in winegrape harvest. In addition, ECOSAT teamed with TerraSpase Vineyard Mapping Services (Napa CA) to provide image-based data and information to clients in the greater North Coast region. Two-meter digital multispectral images were collected in late July 1997 by aircraft over vineyards in Napa and Sonoma Counties by partner CropImage (Salinas). NASA participation in the Canopy Remote-sensing for Uniformly Segmented Harvest (CRUSH) project was sponsored by the Ames Commercial Technology Office under the Commercial Technology Project Fund. The Fund is intended to stimulate the transition of Ames technology to the private sector.


Technology Demonstration: Mondavi Winery produced wines of different character from different portions of the study field. In addition, for the first time ever, "reserve" wines (highest quality and value) were produced from sections of the study field.

Technology Transfer: Ames scientists assisted Terra Spase Consulting in implementing value-added processing on their in-house system. Terra Spase was able to process and market the resulting imagery for evaluation purposes to ~25 winegrowing clients in Napa and Sonoma Counties.


"Of Pixels and Palates: Can Geospatial Technologies Help Produce a Better Wine?" Johnson et al., Proceedings 1st Int'l. Conf. Geospatial Information in Agriculture and Forestry, June 1998.

"Vine and Vigor: Art and Science in the Vineyard." Daniel Bosch, Precision Farming, Dec. 1997.

"Building an Image." California Farmer, September 1997.



Lee F. Johnson
tel: (650) 604-3331


Paul Skinner (President)
tel: (707) 254-7519


Kevin Spry (President)
tel: (831) 484-6415

Program Office:

NASA Ames Research Center
Commercial Technology Office

1 NASA Ames Research Center (CSU Monterey Bay)
2 Robert Mondavi Winery (Oakville CA)
3 TerraSpase (Napa CA)
4 Winegrow (Healdsburg CA)
5 CropImage (Salinas CA)
6 NASA Ames Research Center (JCWS, Inc.)
7 NASA Ames Research Center

Last update: 02 Mar 98

For related information, see the GRAPES Project

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