Skip to main content
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: 3012-13000-010-02-N
Project Type: Non-Funded Cooperative Agreement

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

Objective:
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.

Approach:
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.