Archive for June, 2012

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Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP): Notes from the Field – Week 3

June 27th, 2012 by Brian Campbell

Grant Wiseman
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

Week 3 provided 7 days of much needed sunshine allowing for a study-site-wide dry down of soils and a significant increase in crop growth. Field crews were able to collect vegetation samples twice and soil moisture measurements four times!

“Mutant Canola”

For more information, visit the SMAP Notes from the Field page.

Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP): Vegetation Sampling

June 24th, 2012 by Brian Campbell

Jacqueline Freeman
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

Here are some photos from my veg team. They were taken today and show just some of the activities we perform during a vegetation sampling day.

Measuring crop height and diameter

The first image is of Saeid and myself measuring crop height and diameter and recording all of the info onto a field sheet. Each field has 3 pre-determined sampling points where all measurements are taken. Then vegetation is collected in labelled paper bags, and then sealed in plastic bags which we transport to the lab crew situated at Ma’s Drive-In in Elm Creek. Samples are then weighed (wet) and dried for about 2 days and weighed again (dry). The lab crew also separates the plant parts (leaves, stems) and weighs and dries those to determine where the bulk of the moisture is held within the plant.

 

For more SMAPVEX12 vegetation sampling information and pictures, visit the SMAP Blogs from the Field site.

Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP): Aircraft Open House

June 23rd, 2012 by Brian Campbell

Eni Njoku
Jet Propulsion Laboratory

We are finally looking at a dry spell weatherwise for the next several days.

The forecast is for clear weather (started yesterday) that should last through the coming week. PALS and UAVSAR had flights yesterday and today. Tomorrow (Sunday) there will be no flights, and then we plan to fly on Monday and then every third day or so following the 2-3 day flight schedule we originally planned. Over the week we should get a good sampling of the dry-down with both airborne and in situ observations across the experiment domain, modulated by the soil texture and vegetation differences between the fields.

A few do’s and don’ts.

 

Cockpit entry is harder than it looks.

 

For more Open House pictures, visit the SMAP Blogs from the Field site.

Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP): Notes from the Field-Week 2

June 19th, 2012 by Brian Campbell

Grant Wiseman
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

Field teams had another successful week despite the weather still not living up to Manitoba’s famous warm sunny summers. The question on everybody’s mind is not if it is going to rain tomorrow but when?

Week 2 contained two full soil sample day efforts, four vegetation collection days, the completion of the roughness campaign, the structure team beginning their third round of measurements and the forestry team making significant progress. Way to go team!

Crop Duster

 

Read more at the SMAP Blogs from the Field site.

Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP): Discovering Local Treasures

June 19th, 2012 by Brian Campbell

Tom Jackson
USDA ARS Hydrology and Remote Sensing Laboratory

Having been involved in many field campaigns, one of the things that is interesting to do while driving around to the various test sites is to look for “roadside attractions”. There are a number of websites for tracking these down. On Saturday my route, which covered about 150 miles, took me past three of these sites.

World’s second largest fire hydrant (Elm Creek)

 

To see other cool and unusual local treasures discovered during SMAPVEX12, visit the SMAP Blogs from the Field site.