Expanding and Operating the Parallel 41 Flux Network to Support Real-time Evapotranspiration Estimates from Remote Sensing

Expanding and Operating the Parallel 41 Flux Network to Support Real-time Evapotranspiration Estimates from Remote Sensing

Christopher Neale, Daugherty Water for Food Global Institute at the University of Nebraska

Industry Partner: LICOR

Abstract: The objective of this project is to augment the Parallel 41 network of eddy covariance flux stations being implemented initially in the Central Plains of the US. The purpose of this network is to provide real-time, quality controlled and processed crop and natural vegetation evapotranspiration, an important parameter for irrigation water management and water balance studies in watersheds and groundwater recharge estimations. The network is being partially established with 2018 first-year funding from the IIC with 7 towers located in Iowa (2), Nebraska (4) and Colorado (1). The 2019 funding will facilitate 2 additional towers, one in Iowa and one in Kansas. The eddy covariance flux towers will be networked together using the new LICOR FluxSuite software app and SmartFlux hardware installed at each tower, that conducts real-time processing and corrections. The real-time evapotranspiration data will be used to anchor satellite-based estimates of evapotranspiration using energy balance modeling approaches, allowing the distribution of the real-time estimates to multiple irrigated fields and watersheds. The goal is to produce a reliable satellite-based spatial product that will be used by water managers in the participating states as well as farmers and irrigators through online and cell phone apps.