Skip to main content

In-Situ Sensors and SAR for Soil Moisture Monitoring

What We Do

This project is coordinated in collaboration with CropX, a global leader in soil analytics for agriculture. Beginning with a yearlong pilot study on several alfalfa fields in the western United States, the team will work together to combine in-situ data from CropX soil sensors with synthetic aperture radar (SAR) information in order to provide accurate and scalable irrigation and fertilization metrics.



How Satellites Make This Work

CropX has implemented strategies across a group of alfalfa fields in Arizona controlled by IAF Investments Group to test and fine tune the algorithms that will become the foundation of nationwide, and eventually global, agriculture insights. Over a 12-month time period with the integration of NASA data, synthetic aperture radar (SAR) information, and international partner agency satellite data, the pilot program will quickly establish the parameters for water usage estimates, yield prediction, soil quality and land usage assessments based on multiple crop growing cycles. Particularly in light of a renewed focus on soil moisture metrics spurred by NASA’s NISAR mission, the team hopes to build upon the pilot study in the coming years by using the best available technology to analyze and support more cost-effective and environmentally efficient farming methods.


This public-private-partnership will further NASA Harvest’s mission to improve food security and advance sustainable agriculture, supporting farmer productivity while preserving natural resources in the United States and worldwide through the use of satellite data. Combining the power of CropX soil data monitoring, comprehensive insights provided by the CropX ag analytics platform, and NASA’s network of Earth-observing satellites, NASA Harvest aims to deliver critical insights to governments and farmers around the globe in support of informed and science-driven decision making.

Inbal Becker-Reshef, University of Maryland
Mehdi Hosseini, University of Maryland
Team Members