Research and Graduate Studies Contact Us Research Centers and Labs

Raphael Linker, Associate Professor

Environmental, Water and Agricultural Engineering
Phone: +972-4-8295902
Fax: +972-4-8228898
Address: Faculty of Civil and Environmental Engineering Technion - Israel Institute of Technology Haifa 32000, Israel
Home Page:
Research Interests  
Sensing, and in particular mid-infrared spectroscopy and hyperspectral imaging.
Modeling, control and optimization of agricultural and environmental systems.

Academic degrees


2000 – Ph.D.    Failure detection and isolation in greenhouses. Faculty of Agricultural Engineering. Technion-IIT, Haifa, Israel

1995 – M.Sc.   Simultaneous CO2 enrichment and ventilation of greenhouses. Faculty of Agricultural Engineering. Technion-IIT, Haifa, Israel

1990 – Diplôme d’Ingénieur Civil.   Faculty of Electro-Mechanical Engineering. Brussels Free University.


Academic appointments


08/2014-02/2015: Sabbatical leave at Faculty of Biological and Agricultural Engineering, University of California Davis (CA, USA) 

2011-Present:           Associate Professor. Faculty of Civil and Environmental Engineering. Technion

2005-2011:               Senior Lecturer. Faculty of Civil and Environmental Engineering. Technion.

2002-2005:               Post-Doctorate. Faculty of Civil and Environmental Engineering. Technion.

2001-2002:               Post-Doctorate. Department of Biological and Environmental Engineering. Cornell University.

2000-2001:               Research Associate. Faculty of Agricultural Engineering. Technion.


Graduate students


Completed Theses (Ph.D.)


2009. Segal Y. Qualitative and quantitative analysis of organic fouling of ultrafiltration membranes for wastewater treatment. (S.A.: Dosoretz, C.).

2010. Segal-Rozenhaimer M. Environmental fate of semivolatile pesticides in the atmosphere: Implementation of FTIR techniques in the investigation of heterogeneous reactions. (P.A.: Dubowski Y.). 

2011. Bamberger E. Combined use of ERT and vadoze zone flow modeling for improved estimation of soil water content. (S.A.: Furman, A.). 

2016. Kira, O. Monitoring of aerosols by open-path FTIR. (S. A.: Dubowski, Y.).

2017. Rinot, O. Improved prediction of nitrogen mineralization processes in soils. (P. A.: Shaviv, A.). 

2017. Tardi-Ovadia R. Development of a method for detection and identification of the phyto-pathogens Helminthosporium solani and Colletotrichum coccodes on Solanum tuberosum. (S. A.: Tsor, L.).


Completed Theses (M.Sc.)


2004. David-Horowitz V. Assessment of fruit mealiness. (Principal Advisor: Shmulevich I.)

2006. Borenstein A. Direct determination of nitrate in agricultural soils using FTIR/ATR spectroscopy. (Secondary Advisor: Shaviv A.)

2006. Wiener M. Reduction of soil interference in the direct-determination of nitrate by ATR-FTIR spectroscopy. (S.A.: Shaviv A.)

2008. Blass T. Navigation algorithm for autonomous vehicle operating in orchards. (S.A.: Shmulevich I.).

2008. Scholnik R. Shrouded turbine control in ‘Energy Tower’. (S.A.: Guetta R.).

2009. Agmail, W. MIMO control of temperature and humidity inside greenhouses cooled by fogging systems. (S.A.: Arbel A.).

2009. Elkabetz M. Fusion of non-destructive methods for quality assessment of apples. (P.A.: Shmulevich I.).

2009. Kushnir, V. Development of an artificial vision system for real-time estimation of cow breathing rate.

2009. Nenner U. Control of single track robotic vehicle. (S.A.: Gutman P.O.).

2011. Hammami, H. Detection of defects and diseases in citrus and mango fruits based on hyperspectral imaging system.

2011. Orlov, Y. Investigation of eggshell crack propagation and eggshell strength parameters. (S.A.: Spektor, B.)

2012. Alony, A. Imaging of spatial and temporal bio-chemical variations in the rhizosphere zone by laser induced auto-fluorescence.

2012. Kira, O. New measuring method combining FTIR-ATR spectroscopy and stable isotopes to investigate the kinetics of nitrogen transformations in soils. (S.A.: Shaviv, A.).

2012. Lousky, M. Integration of a plant model in a greenhouse decision support system.

2014. Dromi, I. Detection of underground spaces using BOTDR (P.A.: Klar, A.)

2014. Nachum, M. Trajectory planning and guidance of a robotic arm for tree pruning. (S.A.: Gutman, S.).

2014. Nir, O. Modeling of tree structure using robotic arm for pruning.

2014. Shaked, M. Combination of coarse and fine visual servoing control for a polar precision sprayer.

2014. Tune, M. BOTDR base system for automated detection of sinkhole formation. (S. A.: Klar, A.)

2015. Dekel-Ben Yaakov, V. Stress detection in plants by thermic hyperspectral sensor SPECIM LWIR. (S. A.: Alchantis, V.).


Theses in Progress (Ph.D.)


2015. Orlov, Y.Non-destructive optical measurements for in-situ inc\vestiagtoin of 'Golden Delicious' apple development from petal fall till the end of June drop. (S.A.: Spektor, B.). 


Theses in Progress (M.Sc.)


2013. Herrmann, S. Leakage-induced pipeline stressing. (P. A.: Klar, A.). Thesis submitted.

2016. Jamal, A. Utilizing probabilistic weather forecasting for optimal irrigation scheduling. (S.A.: Housh, M., Haifa Univ.). Thesis submitted.

2016. Levavi, I. (Haifa Univ.).  Sensors-based irrigation of greenhouse tomatoes (S.A.: Greenbaum, N., Haifa Univ.). Expected graduation July 2017.


Reviewed publications

Linker, R. and I. Kisekka. Model-based deficit irrigation of maize in Kansas. Transactions of the ASABE (In press).
Kira, O., A. L. Nguy-Robertson, T. J. Arkebauer, R. Linker and A. Gitelson. Toward generic models for green LAI estimation in maize and soybean: Satellite observations. Remote Sensing (In press).
Osterholz, W., A. Shaviv, O. Rinot, R. Linker, M. Liebman, G. Sanford, J. Strock and J. Castellano. Predicting gross nitrogen mineralization and potentially mineralizable N using soil organic matter properties. Soil Science Society of America Journal (In press).
Linker, R. and I. Ioslovich. Assimilation of canopy cover and biomass measurements in the crop model AquaCrop. Biosystems Engineering (In press).
Tsakmakis, I., N. Kokkos, V. Pisinaras, V. Papaevangelou, E. Hatziannakis, G. Arampatzis, G. D. Gikas, R. Linker, S. Zoras, V. Evagelopoulos, V.a. Tsijrintzis, A. Battilani and G. Sylaios (2017). Operational precise irrigation for cotton cultivation through the coupling of meteorological and crop growth models. Water Resources Management, 31: 563-580.
Tardi-Ovadia, R., R. Linker and L. Tsror (Lahkim) (2017). Direct estimation of local pH change at infection sites of fungi in potato tubers. Phytopathology, 107: 132-137.
Qureshi, W. S., A. Payne, K. B. Walsh, R. Linker, O. Cohen and M. N. Dailey (2017). Machine vision for fruit detection and count estimation of mango in tree canopies. Precision Agriculture, 18:224-244.
Linker, R. (2017). A procedure for estimating the number of green mature apples in nighttime orchard images using light distribution and its application to yield estimation. Precision Agriculture, 18: 59-75.
Oron, A., N. Liphschitz, B. W. Held, E. Galili, M. Klein, R. Linker and R. A. Blanchette (2016). Characterization of archeological waterlogged wooden objects exposed on the hyper-saline Dead Sea shore. Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports 9: 73-86
Linker, R. and G. Sylaios (2016). Efficient model-based sub-optimal irrigation scheduling using imperfect weather forecasts. Computers and Electronics in Agriculture 130: 118-127.
Linker, R. and I. Ioslovich (2016) Optimal irrigation scheduling for the wheat production in Canadian Prairies: a modelling study. Contemporary Mathematics, 659, 157-164.
Kira, O., A. L. Nguy-Robertson, T. J. Arkebauer, R. Linker and A. Gitelson (2016). Informative spectral bands for remote green LAI estimation in C3 and C4 crops. Agricultural and Forest Meteorology, 218-139: 243-249.
Kira, O., R. Linker and Y. Dudowski (2016). Detection and quantification of water-based aerosols using active open-path FTIR. Scientific Reports, 6 (Article 25110).
Kira, O., R. Linker and Y. Dubowski (2016). Estimating drift of airborne pesticides during orchards spraying using active open path FTIR. Atmospheric Environment 142: 264-270
Mann, M. P., B. Zion, I. Shmulevich, D. Rubinstein and R. Linker (2015). Combinatorial optimization and performance analysis of a multi-arm Cartesian robotic fruit harvester-extensions of graph coloring. Journal of Intelligent and Robotic Systems, 1-13.
Linker, R. and M. Lousky (2015). A simulation study on the use of costate variables as strategic setpoints for tomato greenhouses. International Journal of Sustainable Agricultural Management and Informatics, 1: 163-177.
Linker, R. and A. Klar (2015). Detection of sinkhole formation by strain profile measurements using BOTDR: A simulation study. Journal of Engineering Mechanics, B4015002-1: B4015002-10.
Linker, R. and E. Kelman (2015). Apple detection in nighttime images using the geometry of light patches around highlights. Computers and Electronics in Agriculture, 114: 154-162.
Kira, O., R. Linker and A. Gitelson (2015). Non-destructive estimation of foliar chlorophyll and carotenoid contents: Focus on informative spectral bands. International Journal of Applied Earth Observation and Geoinformation, 38: 251-260.
Kira, O., Y. Dudowski and R. Linker (2015). Reconstruction of passive open-path FTIR ambient spectra using meteorological measurements and its application for detection of aerosol cloud drift. Optics Express, 23: A916-A929.
Mann, M. P., B. Zion, D. Rubinstein, R. Linker and I. Shmulevich (2014). Minimum time kinematic motions of a Cartesian mobile manipulator for a fruit harvesting robot. Journal of Dynamic Systems, Measurement and Control, 136. Paper No: DS-13-1247.
Mann, M. P., D. Rubinstein, I. Shmulevich, R. Linker and B. Zion (2014). Motion planning of a mobile Cartesian manipulator for optimal harvesting of 2-D crops. Transactions of the ASABE, 57: 283-295
Klar, A., I. Dromy and R. Linker (2014). Monitoring tunneling induced ground displacements using distributed fiber-optic sensing. Tunnelling and Underground Space Technology, 40: 141-150.
Kira, O., R. Linker and A. Shaviv (2014). A novel method combining FTIR-ATR spectroscopy and stable isotopes to investigate the kinetics of nitrogen transformations in soils. Soil Science Society of America Journal, 78: 54-60.
Kelman, E. and R. Linker (2014). Vision-based localization of mature apples in trees using convexity. Biosystems Engineering, 118: 174-185.
Dubowski, Y., D. Harush, A. Shaviv, L. Stone and R. Linker (2014). Real time monitoring of N2O emissions from agricultural soils using FTIR spectroscopy. Soil Science Society of America Journal, 78: 61-69.
Villarreal Guerrero, F., M. Kacira, E. Fitz-Rodriguez, R. Linker, C. Kubota, G. A. Giacomelli and A. Arbel. Implementation of a greenhouse cooling strategy with natural ventilation and variable fogging rates. Transactions of the ASABE (In Press)
Blank, L., R. Linker and Y. Carmel. A multiscale analysis of herbaceous species richness in a Mediterranean ecosystem. Journal of Plant Ecology (In Press).
Alony, A. and R. Linker (2013). Development of a laser-induced fluorescence imaging system for root activity and rhizoshphere visualization. Biosystems Engineering, 114: 466-473.
Orlova, Y., R. Linker and B. Spektor (2012). Expansion of cracks in chicken eggs exposed to sub-atmospheric pressure. Biosystems Engineering, 112: 278-284.
Villarreal Guerrero, F., M. Kacira, E. Fitz-Rodriguez, R. Linker, C. Kubota, G. A. Giacomelli and A. Arbel (2012). Simulated performance of a greenhouse cooling control strategy with natural ventilation and variable fogging rates. Biosystems Engineeering, 111: 217-228.
Villarreal Guerrero, F., M. Kacira, E. Fitz-Rodriguez, C. Kubota, G. A. Giacomelli., R. Linker and A. Arbel (2012). Comparison of three evapotranspiration models for a cooling strategy within a naturally ventilated greenhouse equipped with variable rate fogging system. Scientia Horticulturae, 134: 210-221.
Linker, R., O. Cohen and A. Naor (2012). Determination of the number of green apples in RGB images recorded in orchards. Computers and Electronics in Agriculture, 81: 45-57.
Segal, Y., R. Linker and C. Dosoretz (2011). Quantitative estimation of protein fouling of ultra-filtration membranes by photoacoustic spectroscopy. Desalination, 271: 231-235.
Segal-Rosenheimer, M., R. Linker and Y. Dubowski (2011). Heterogeneous oxidation of the insecticide cypermethrin as thin film and airborne particles by hydroxyl radicals and ozone. Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics, 13: 506-517.
Linker, R., M. Kacira and A. Arbel (2011). Robust climate control of a greenhouse equipped with variable-speed fans and a variable-pressure fogging system, Biosystems Engineering, 110: 153-167
Nenner, U., R. Linker and P.O. Gutman (2010). Robust feedback stabilization of an unmanned motorcycle. Control Engineering Practice, 18: 970-978.
Klar, A. and R. Linker (2010). Feasibility study of automated detection of tunnel excavation by Brillouin optical time domain reflectometry. Tunnelling and Underground Space Technology, 25: 575-586.
Du, C., R. Linker, A. Shaviv and Z. Jianmin (2009). In situ evaluation of net nitrification rate in Terra Rossa soil using FTIR-ATR 15N tracing technique. Applied Spectroscopy, 63: 1168-1173.
Segal-Rosenheimer, M. and R. Linker (2009). Impact of non-measured infrared spectral range of the imaginary refractive index on the derivation of the real refractive index using the Kramers-Kronig transform. Journal of Quantitative Spectroscopy and Radiative Transfer, 110: 1147-1161.
Segal-Rosenheimer, M., Y. Dubowski and R. Linker (2009). Extraction of optical constants from Mid-IR spectra of small aerosol particles. Journal of Quantitative Spectroscopy and Radiative Transfer, 110: 415-426.
Linker, R. and Y. Etzion (2009). Potential and limitation of mid-infrared attenuated total reflectance spectroscopy for real time analysis of raw milk in milking lines. Journal of Dairy Research, 76: 42-48.
Ioslovich, I., P.O. Gutman and R. Linker (2009). Hamilton-Jacobi-Bellman formalism for optimal climate control of greenhouse crop. Automatica, 45: 1227-1231.
Linker, R. and L. Tsror (Lakhim) (2008). Discrimination of soil-borne fungi using Fourier transform infrared attenuated total reflectance spectroscopy. Applied Spectroscopy, 62: 248-250.
Linker, R. and P. M. Neumann (2008). New directions for improving the management of Agricultural soils (Commentary on Farmer-oriented assessment of soil quality using field, laboratory, and VNIR spectroscopy methods by Idowu et al.). Plants and Soil, 307: 255-257.
Linker, R. and T. Blass (2008). Path planning algorithm for vehicles operating in orchards. Biosystems Engineering, 101: 152-160.
Linker, R. (2008). Determination of nitrate concentration in soil via photoacoustic spectroscopy analysis of ion exchange membranes. Applied Spectroscopy, 62: 302-305.
Du, C., R. Linker and A. Shaviv (2008). Identification of agricultural Mediterranean soils using mid-infrared photoacoustic spectroscopy. Geoderma, 143: 85-90.
Du, C., R. Linker and A. Shaviv (2007). Characterization of soils using photoacoustic mid-infrared spectroscopy. Applied Spectroscopy, 61: 1063-1067.
Mathieu J., R. Linker, L. Levine, L. Albright. A.J. Both, R. Spanswick, R. Wheeler, E. Wheeler, D. deVilliers and R. Langhans (2006). Evaluation of the NiCoLet Model for Simulation of Short-Term Hydroponic Lettuce Growth and Nitrate Uptake. Biosystems Engineering, 95: 323-337.
Linker R., M. Weiner, I. Shmulevich and A. Shaviv (2006). Nitrate determination in soil pastes using FTIR-ATR mid-infrared spectroscopy: Improved accuracy via soil identification. Biosystems Engineering, 94: 111-118.
Linker R. and A. Shaviv (2006). Nitrate determination using anion exchange membrane and mid-infrared spectroscopy. Applied Spectroscopy, 60: 1008-1012.
Jahn B. R., R. Linker R., S. K. Upadhyaya, A. Shaviv, D. C. Slaughter and I. Shmulevich (2006). Mid infrared spectroscopic determination of soil nitrate content. Biosystems Engineering, 94: 505-515.
Fan L., R. Linker, S. Gepstein, E. Tanimoto, R. Yamamoto and P. M. Neumann (2006). Progressive inhibition by water deficit of cell wall extensibility and growth along the elongation zone of maize roots is related to increased lignin metabolism and progressive stelar accumulation of wall phenolics. Plant Physiology, 140: 603-612.
Borenstein A., R. Linker, I. Shmulevich and A. Shaviv (2006). Determination of soil nitrate and water content using attenuated total reflectance spectroscopy. Applied Spectroscopy, 60: 1267-1272.
Linker R., I. Shmulevich, A. Kenny and A. Shaviv (2005). Soil identification and chemometrics for direct determination of nitrate in soils using FTIR-ATR mid-infrared spectroscopy. Chemosphere, 61: 652-658.
Linker R. and C. Johnson-Rutzke (2005). Modeling the effect of abrupt changes in nitrogen availability on lettuce growth, root-shoot partitioning and nitrate concentration. Agricultural Systems, 86: 166-189.
Linker R. (2005). Spectrum analysis by recursively pruned extended auto-associative neural network. Journal of Chemometrics, 19: 492-499.
Linker R., I. Seginer and F. Buwalda (2004). Description and calibration of a dynamic model for lettuce grown in a nitrate-limiting environment. Mathematical and Computer Modelling, 40: 1009-1024.
Linker R. and I. Seginer (2004). Greenhouse temperature modeling: A comparison between sigmoid neural networks and hybrid models. Mathematics and Computers in Simulation, 65:19-29.
Linker R., A. Kenny, A. Shaviv, L. Singher and I. Shmulevich (2004). FTIR/ATR nitrate determination of soil pastes using PCR, PLS and cross-correlation. Applied Spectroscopy, 58(5):516-520.
Linker R. and L. S. Katzman (2004). Detection of root disease in hydroponic spinach by monitoring dissolved oxygen in nutrient solution. International Agricultural Engineering Journal, 13(3):87-92.
Linker R. (2004). Wavebands selection for determination of nitrate in soil using mid-IR/ATR spectroscopy. Applied Spectroscopy, 58(11):1277-1281.
Etzion Y., R. Linker, U. Kogan and I. Shmulevich (2004). Determination of protein concentration in raw milk by mid-infrared Fourier transform infrared/attenuated total reflectance spectroscopy. Journal of Dairy Science, 87:2779-2788.
Linker R. and I. Seginer (2003). Water stress detection by a step change of ventilation. Biosystems Engineering, 84(1):79-89.
Linker R., P. O. Gutman and I. Seginer (2002). Observer-based robust failure detection and isolation in greenhouses. Control Engineering Practice, 10(5):519-531.
Linker R., P. O. Gutman and I. Seginer (2000). Robust model-based failure detection and identification in greenhouses. Computers and Electronics in Agriculture, 26(3):255-270.
Linker R., P. O. Gutman and I. Seginer (1999). Robust controllers for simultaneous control of temperature and CO2 concentration in greenhouses. Control Engineering Practice, 7(7):851-862.
Linker R., I. Seginer and P. O. Gutman (1998). Optimal control of CO2 in a greenhouse modelled with neural networks. Computers and Electronics in Agriculture, 19:289-310.

Selected research projects

2017. Development of a computer vision system for detecting signs of fire blight caused by the bacterium Erwinia amylovora in pear trees. Israel Ministry of Agriculture (Chief Scientist). 464,000 NIS. Linker, R. and Dafny, M.
2017. Automated, algorithmically-guided detection of irrigation malfunctions by machine learning tools applied to aerial thermal imaging. Israel Ministry of Science, Technology and Space. 250,000 NIS. Naor, A., Shir, O., Meron, M., Liner, R. and Litaor, I.
2016. Precision agriculture: Development of systems for improving use of resources in the field. Israel Ministry of Economy and Industry (Kandel Programme). 11,000,000 NIS. Consortium with 19 partners.
2014. Development of a DSS for apple trees thinning based on precision agriculture principles. Israel Ministry of Agriculture (Chief Scientist). 430,000 NIS. V. Alchanati, Y. Cohen, R. Linker, M. Feishman, A. Samach, O. Crain, R. Stern, M. Goldwyn and A. Naor.
2012. Atmospheric degradation and transport of pesticides and their by-products at the agro-urban interface. Israel Science Foundation. 680,000 NIS. Dubowski Y. and Linker R.
2012. Improving nitrogen availability indicators by emphasizing correlations between gross nitrogen mineralization and the quality and quantity of labile soil organic matter fraction. Binational Agricultural Research and Development Fund (BARD). $310,000. Castellano M. J., Shaviv A., Linker R., Liebman, M.
2012. Flexible and precIse irriGation plAtform to improve faRm scale water prOductivity (FIGARO). European Union (FP7 Programme). 8,000,000 Euros. Consortium with 17 partners.
2011. Using open-path FTIR for real-time detection of toxic gases and aerosols in the outdoor environment. Technion Fund for Security Research. 130,000 NIS. Linker R. and Dubowski Y.
2010. Development of a multi-manipulator robotic system for automation and reducing of manpower in agriculture. Israel Ministry of Agriculture (Chief Scientist). 1,100,000 NIS. Shmulevich I., Zion, B., Bechar, A., Linker, R., Rubinstein, D., Franco, Y., Berenstein, R., Hoffman, R., Regev, R., Grinshpon, Y., Rozenfeld, L., Roni, A., Shimshon, O. and Schmilovitch, Z.
2010. Source partitioning of N pathways in soil to quantify N2O/NO emissions by integrated isotope, FTIR spectroscopy and molecular biology methods. Binational Science Foundation (BSF). $152,000. Shaviv, A., Myrold, D., Dubowski, Y., Linker, R. and Bottomley, P. J.
2010. Human-robot integrated system for tree pruning and shaping. Israel Ministry of Agriculture (Chief Scientist). 930,000 NIS. Linker, R., Bechar, A., Schmilovitch, Z., Shmulevich I. and Greenblat, Y.
2010. Advanced Fourier-transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy for identification of phytopatogens. Israel Ministry of Agriculture (Chief Scientist). 410,000 NIS. Linker, R. and Tsror, L.
2010. Real-time monitoring of N-species isotopologues by FTIR spectroscopy: A novel tool to investigate short-term isotopic dynamics and N2O formation in soil. Niedersachsen Cooperation Programme. 108,000 Euros. Linker, R., Wrage, N., Avrahami, S., Well, R., Flessa, H. and Shaviv, A.
2009. Use of the internet to improve control and management of greenhouses. Israel Ministry of Agriculture (Chief Scientist). 300,000 NIS. Teitel M., Hezroni A., Tanay Y., Linker R., Barak M., Antler A. and Yehezkel H.
2008. Robotic system for automated spraying and pollination of tree canopies. Israel Ministry of Agriculture (Chief Scientist). 360,000 NIS. Shmulevich, I., Gan-Mor, S., Linker, R.
2008. Development of sinkholes detection system using BOTDR. Israeli Ministry of Infrastructure. 50,000 NIS. Klar A., Linker R.
2008. Enhanced climate control of semi-arid and arid greenhouses equipped with fogging systems. Binational Agricultural Research and Development Fund (BARD). $305,000. Linker R., Kacira M., Arbel A., Kubota C., Giacomelli G.
2006. Development of an imaging system for early estimation of apple orchard yield. Israel Ministry of Science and Technology. 240,000 NIS. Naor A., Linker R., Alchanatis, V
2005. Measurement of milk quality in milking line using FTIR spectroscopy in the mid-infrared range. Israel Ministry of Agriculture (Cattle Division). 100,000 NIS. Linker R., Shmulevich I.
Home |  Faculty Map |  Phone Directory |  Site Map |  Contact Us |  עברית
  Copyright © 2007 Civil. All Rights Reserved. Created by Catom web design