Using Space Technology To Measure Soil Moisture

Federal funding is going into five projects that could help Canadian farmers better understand crop yields.

They could also lead to early warnings of soil conditions that could lead to crop-damaging pests.

The projects are all linked to NASA’s Soil and Moisture Active Passive satellite system.

That system, known as SMAP, combines radar and radiometer instrumentation to peer into the top five centimeters of soil day and night.

The readings the system gets are described as the highest resolution, most accurate soil moisture and freeze-thaw maps ever obtained from space.

One of the projects involved is being done by the University of Guelph.

It’s focused on validating soil moisture measurements and soil-freeze-thaw products in a number of regions across the country, include around Elora.

The University of Toronto will also be using SMAP data in an ecosystem model to improve water and carbon cycle simulations.