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Measuring soil moisture from space

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Funding Year: 2021

Research Areas: Food Security

Soil moisture is a key variable in understanding both the global water cycle and the local movement of water in agricultural or ecologically-sensitive areas. Present methods of measuring water content remotely are very coarse, mostly at tens of kilometers resolution, and therefore do not satisfy the needs of the agricultural industry. This project will develop a new method of analyzing spaceborne radar data at 10m resolution to meet this added need. Using a variety of satellite data, the researchers plan to test a new processing and analysis approach to yield estimates of soil moisture at finer resolution than is possible with current remote methods. If successful this method promises a powerful new tool for cropland management.

Learn more about the Environmental Venture Projects grant program and other funded projects.

Principal Investigators:

Howard Zebker (Electrical Engineering)

Alexandra Konings (Environmental Earth System Science)

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