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Summary of Proposal LAN1575

TitleMulti-frequency SAR for soil moisture retrieval
Investigator McNairn, Heather - Canadian Federal Government, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
Team Member
Research Scientist McNairn, Heather - Government of Canada, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
Associate Professor Berg, Aaron - University of Guelph, Geography
Professor Bullock, Paul - University of Manitoba, Soil Science
Physical Scientist a ONeill, Peggy - NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Hydrological Sciences Branch
Physical Scientist Joseph, Alicia - NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Hydrological Sciences Branch
Professor Magagi, Ramata - Universite de Sherbrooke, Geomatique appliquee
Research Hydrologist Cosh, Michael - United States Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service
Professor Moghaddam, Mahta - University of Southern California, Electrical Engineering
Research Scientist Kim, Seungbum - Jet Propulsion Laboratory/California Institute of Technology, Science Division
SummarySoil moisture is a critical variable in agricultural productivity, hydrological cycling and weather forecasting. This information need is confirmed by NASA’s commitment to launch the Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) satellite in 2014. Active SAR sensors have a critical role to play in providing data to support modeling of the microwave signal through crop vegetation, and in downscaling passive microwave data. In addition, these active sensors provide the sub-field level soil moisture not attainable using passive microwave technology. In 2012, a team of 75 Canadian and U.S. scientists participated in the SMAPVEX12 experiment in southern Manitoba (Canada). An extensive field data set was collected, along with 16 flights of NASA’s UAVSAR and PALS instruments. RADARSAT-2 acquired data throughout the campaign and 15TerraSAR-X images were programmed. The Manitoba site is one of the Canadian JECAM sites and this proposal is to request access to the 2012 TerraSAR-X data and to request the collection of a validation data set in 2013. The research team will examine the sensitivity of X-Band data to soil moisture. In addition the data will be used to assess how multi-frequency SAR data can provide information products of use to the agriculture community, but also required for evaluation of the SMAP soil moisture algorithm. These products include information on the crop canopy (type,biomass, water content) to support accurate estimation of attenuation of the microwave signal by the vegetation. The project will develop crop information products as well as an evaluation of TerraSAR-X for soil moisture estimation. Beyond these products, outputs will also include presentations and publications highlighting the value of TerraSAR-X for agriculture applications. The SMAPVEX experiment was funded by internal agency resources, as well as by the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) and NASA. CSA funding to Canadian participants in SMAPVEX continues until March 2014.

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