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Summary of Proposal LAN3228

TitleCROP-X BIOPAR 3: multi-temporal assessment of crop biophysical parameters using SAR and optical sensors
Investigator Villa, Paolo - CNR - IREA, Institute for Electromagnetic Sensing of the Environment
Team Member
Dr Macelloni, Giovanni - CNR, IFAC
SummaryThe preliminary analysis of LAN2412 and LAN2984 proposal outcomes, carried out based on 2014 and 2015 summer crop growing seasons, highlighted that TSX backscatter is highly sensitive to biomass of rice plants (starting from tillering), and shows some sensitivity to maize biomass (up to heading). Moreover, high complementarity to X-band backscatter was shown by spectral vegetation indices derived from optical sensors. Such findings support the potential use of TSX data for estimating summer crop biomass at key phenological stages. For these reasons we are proposing a wrap-up to LAN2412 and LAN2984 proposals though the acquisition of new in situ and TSX data (HH/VV pol) in the same study area and with homologous monitoring targets aimed at exploring VV backscatter features and validate findings of previous studies CROP-X BIOPAR 3 project aims at: 1) completing the investigation of multi-temporal TSX data sensitivity to soil condition and plant morphology throughout the phenological cycle of different crops (rice, maize and soybean), by also exploiting complementarity with other data (C-band SAR, optical VNIR); 2) joining cross-pol (HH/HV) with newly co-pol (HH/VV) data acquired along 2016 summer crop growing season to comprehensively assess the capabilities of TSX in estimating biophysical parameters of major summer crops; 3) integrating cross- and co-pol X-band backscatter and biophysical crop parameters into a radiative transfer model, for assessing sensitivity and relevant parameter ranges under a variety of configurations; 4) validating the achievements and crop biophysical parameters modeled using 2014 and 2015 in situ and TSX data over a completely independent dataset. For these purposes, we need the acquisition of new TSX Stripmap Mode (HH/VV pol) data covering the wshole summer growing season (mid May-mid September 2016) over the study area already used for previous proposals: south-western Lombardy region, northern Italy. In situ measurement campaigns of crop biophysical parameters will be distributed in time to follow the phenological phases of rice, maize and soybean fields surveyed in the study area. In situ data collection campaigns will be conducted simultaneously with the TSX Stripmap scenes. 2016 campaigns will be carried out over targets homogeneous in characteristics and size with the ones previously surveyed for LAN2412 and LAN2984 proposals. During each campaign, in situ data will be collected on the characteristics of soil and vegetation for each of the fields surveyed. TSX data and in situ crop biophysical parameters collected in quasi-controlled conditions will be integrated with 2014 and 2015 data, and input as additional dataset for further testing our single layer radiative transfer model (Paloscia et al., 2014). The implemented model is used for assessing sensitivity of X-band backscatter to crop and substrate parameters as well as to try and monitor crop status and phenology, based on biophysical parameters derived from real-case summer crop varieties over an heterogeneous multi-seasonal dataset. Building on LAN2412 and LAN2948 achievements, RTM simulations and sensitivity analysis will be the basis for assessing crop biophysical parameters at field scale, by integrating different satellite data (SAR and optical), and exploring the transferability of the general approach to different case studies and dataset. One intermediate and one final report will be provided at 6 months and at the end of the project, in 12 months. The work will be framed in context of “ERMES” (EU FP7) project, which will provide funding for both data and field campaign costs.

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