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Summary of Proposal LAN3217

TitleInvestigating the use of multi-frequency SAR for mapping soil and crop parameters
Investigator McNairn, Heather - Canadian Federal Government, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
Team Member
Ms. Pacheco, Anna - Government of Canada, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
Dr. Merzouki, Amine - Government of Canada, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
Mr. Powers, Jarrett - Government of Canada, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
Dr. Berg, Aaron - University of Guelph, Geography
Dr. ONeill, Peggy - NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Hydrological Sciences Branch
Dr. Joseph, Alicia - NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Hydrological Sciences Branch
Dr. Magagi, Ramata - Universite de Sherbrooke, Geomatique appliquee
Dr. Cosh, Michael - United States Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service
Dr. Kim, Seungbum - Jet Propulsion Laboratory/California Institute, Science Division
Dr. Biswas, Asim - McGill University, Natural Resource Sciences
Dr. Qu, John - George Mason University, Department of Geography and GeoInformation Science
Dr. Hosseini, Mehdi - Government of Canada, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
Dr. Rowlandson, Tracy - University of Guelph, Geography
SummaryAgriculture risk reduction has become increasingly important in Canada given the environmental challenges that the sector has confronted in the last decade. Soil moisture is a critical variable in agricultural productivity, hydrological cycling and weather forecasting. This information need was confirmed by the launch of NASA’s Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) satellite in January 2015 which aims to produce global maps of soil moisture every 2-3 days. 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 2016, a team of 50 Canadian and U.S. scientists will participate in the SMAPVEX16 experiment in southern Manitoba (Canada), which is also one of the Canadian JECAM sites. An extensive field data set is planned to be collected, along with 10 flight days of NASA’s PALS instrument. These airborne data are to be acquired simultaneously to the SMAP overpasses. Over 90 RADARSAT-2 images will be acquired throughout the campaign along with Sentinel-1 and -2, Rapid Eye and Landsat-8. Through a successful submission of this proposal, 30 TerraSAR-X images will be programmed. 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) and phenology 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 SMAPVEX16 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 2017.

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