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Methods and Technologies at the
Jülich Plant Phenotyping Centre


Sensor Transport Und Positionierungs Sytem

The STUPS installation enables the fast and non-invasive measurement of plant height, width and leaf area of crop species under experimental greenhouse conditions.

STUPS1STUPS installation with rapseed plants and automatic watering

The installation consists of an automation system that aligns an imaging box with plants positioned on tables and moves the imaging box across the plants for data acquisition. The imaging box contains a light curtain array that produces a binary data matrix for plant silhouette reconstruction. In addition, a VNIR hyperspectral camera with complementary lighting and references allows for spectral data acquisition in high resolution. Automated data processing workflows for both light curtain and hyperspectral data produce shoot and leaf growth-related traits, as well as leaf spectral signatures. The latter can further be processed by means of vegetation indices or modelling approaches to yield complementary data on plant physiology. Experiments can be supported by additional physiological measurements (e.g. gas exchange), and destructive sampling for biochemical analysis or biomass determination.


The capacity of the installation depends on plant and container size, with an overall minimum of 100 plants distributed over five tables. Plant data can be collected multiple times a day. An irrigation system with a user-defined volume and frequency can be installed for automated watering of plants. Distributed environmental stations record data on air temperature and humidity, as well as light intensity (PAR), in a dedicated database.


Fanourakis D. et al. (2014) Rapid determination of leaf area and plant height by using light curtain arrays in four species with contrasting shoot architecture. Plant Methods 10:9.

Additional Information

 Jülich Plant Phenotyping Centre




weiße Fläche

a development of




Dr. Fabio Fiorani