The SunScan plant canopy analyzer system uses field measurements of Photosynthetically Active Radiation (PAR) in crop canopies to provide valuable information about Leaf Area Index (LAI) and biomass production.

The SunScan plant canopy analyzer is optimized for low regular canopies such as most agricultural crops. The 1m probe enables rapid spatial averaging of large areas and PAR mapping for non-uniform crops such as vineyards and orchards. With the unique BF5 reference PAR sunshine sensor, the SunScan plant canopy analyser can be used in most weather conditions.

Ease of use

The SunScan plant canopy analyzer probe consists of 64 PAR Sensors embedded in a 1m long probe. Whenever a reading is taken, all sensors are scanned and the measurements sent to a hand-held PDA via an RS232 interface. The average PAR level from the Probe is read, but all 64 individual readings can be stored for more complete PAR mapping, or making linear transects. Automatic logging can be selected to obtain readings over a period of time at a fixed point. If connected to a data logger the Probe can function as a Linear Quantum Sensor (also known as a line quantum sensor).

Windows Mobile PDA compatible

The SunScan plant canopy analyzer is periodically updated and refined – building on valuable user feedback. The latest improvement enables SunScan to be used with compatible Windows Mobile PDA's. The RPDA2 is very robust, easy to use and can hold more than 1 million readings on CompactFlash cards. LAI and other readings can be displayed, reviewed and stored in the field using SunData Software.


  • Measures incident and transmitted PAR in plant canopies
  • Direct display of Leaf Area Index (LAI)
  • Unique BF5 Sunshine Sensor reference measures Direct and Diffuse components of incident light
  • Usable in cloudy, clear and changeable conditions
  • Portable, weatherproof and battery powered for unattended logging
Active area 1 m x 13 mm wide; sensor spacing 15.6 mm
Spectral response 400-700 nm (PAR)
Measurement time 120 ms
Maximum reading 2500 µmol m-2 s-1
Resolution 0.3 µmol m-2 s-1
Linearity better than 1%
Accuracy ±10%
Analogue output 1 mV per µmol.m-2.s-1
Serial interface RS-232, 9 pin female "D" connector
Environmental IP65, 0 – 60° C working temp
Size (mm) & weight 1,300 (l) x 100 (w) x 130 (h), 1.7kg
Power 4 x AA Alkaline cells (lifetime up to 1 year)