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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Beltsville, Maryland (BARC) » Beltsville Agricultural Research Center » Hydrology and Remote Sensing Laboratory » Research » Research Project #419514


Location: Hydrology and Remote Sensing Laboratory

2013 Annual Report

1a. Objectives (from AD-416):
Work with Oklahoma State University (OSU) to evaluate the quality and accuracy of in situ soil moisture monitoring instrumentation in a rangeland field. Large scale sampling of soil moisture and co-location of a variety of soil moisture sensor technologies will be implemented in a rangeland field on OSU property under the management of their Range Research Station. Physical collection of soil moisture samples and characterization of the field on a routine basis for the term of this agreement will be the primary objective.

1b. Approach (from AD-416):
The cooperative work proposed here will assess the accuracy and representativeness of the soil moisture studies included in the project, based upon physical collection of soil moisture. This assessment will guide the NASA Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) Science Definition Team in their calibration and validation activities for the satellite mission. ARS will direct the research aspects of the project, leading the investigation and analysis of the results for incorporation into the SMAP Science Team Data Archive. Provide equipment and installation of in situ soil moisture sensors and assist in the collection of physical samples for calibration and validation of the sensors installed in the testbed. OSU will be providing local logistical support for the project including field site maintenance and communications support for the instrumentation. Also administer a gravimetric and vegetation sampling regimen on a regular basis for calibration and validation of the sensor estimates with the support personnel funded by this agreement.

3. Progress Report:
In support of USDA ARS, Soil Moisture Active/Passive validation activities in central Oklahoma, scientists at the Oklahoma State University (OSU) installed an in situ sensor test bed in coordination with USDA ARS HRSL. The location is managed by OSU as a part of their rangeland management research station. A sensor calibration experiment was completed in the summer of 2012 to reduce errors in soil moisture estimation for each of the in situ sensors. The NASA Airborne Microwave Observatory of Subcanopy and Subsurface project (AirMOSS) project used the site as a validation testbed in the summers of 2012 and 2013.

4. Accomplishments