Lead Researchers: Jose Chavez, Daran Rudnick,
Juan Enciso, Florence Cassel
Contact: José Chávez
Industry Partner: Lindsay Corporation
Unmanned Aerial Systems (UASs) and satellites have been recognized as excellent platforms to provide near real-time feedback of temporal and spatial conditions found in agricultural fields throughout the growing season. UASs have also allowed selecting the best management practices that optimize the management of soil and water resources. The main objective of this study is to assess the accuracy of using UASs and satellites (multispectral imagery) to determine crop actual water use and soil water deficit. This study will be conducted at two research facilities in Colorado, one research station in NE, at a commercial orchard and in Weslaco, TX, one research site in Garden City, KS; and at commercial farms in Fresno, CA. Remote sensing (RS) imagery (0.05 – 5 m pixel size) will be acquired over research fields to determine crop evapotranspiration (ET) and soil water deficits on a daily basis. Eddy covariance and soil water sensors/probes will be used to assess remote sensing platform and crop ET model (e.g., reflectance crop coefficient, energy balance) weekly, monthly, and seasonal accuracy.