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ARS Home » Plains Area » Fort Collins, Colorado » Center for Agricultural Resources Research » Water Management and Systems Research » Research » Research Project #438032

Research Project: Improve Irrigation Management with Remote Sensing Technology

Location: Water Management and Systems Research

Project Number: 3012-13210-001-002-N
Project Type: Non-Funded Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Jan 1, 2020
End Date: Dec 31, 2024

The overall goal of this project is improve the sustainability of irrigated farming systems for agronomic producers in semi-arid and arid regions. The specific objectives are: 1. Develop methods to monitor crop water status and quantify crop evapotranspiration (ET) using remote sensing technology in arid and semi-arid northwest China. 2. Integrate multi-platform remote sensing data, such as ground, unmanned aerial systems (UASs), and satellites, to make irrigation management.

Advances in remote sensing technology have enabled the estimation of surface energy fluxes from satellite imagery and led to the development of a relatively direct satellite-based approach to estimate crop ET using an energy balance technique. However, The availability of satellite imagery at clear-sky days and its relatively low spatial resolution are the largest limitation of using satellite-based ET models. With the rapid advance of low-cost unmanned aerial systems (UASs) available on the market, producers have increasing interest in UAS-based remote sensing as a simple and promising tool to acquire spatial information within fields and to assist with decision-making. We will develop and evaluate a UAS-based remote sensing for estimating crop water use; fill the gap between satellite and UAS for irrigation scheduling in the area, and integrate multi-source of remotely sensed data for limited irrigation management.