TerraRad for agriculture

Field maps from the TerraRad radiometer provide simultaneous soil and crop water content measurements . These data can be used to optimize irrigation prescriptions and to predict, and optimally time, harvest. Save water and increase yield.

Unique capabilities of our L-band radiometer for agriculture include…

measure 5-10 cm into soil even through thick crop cover

98% accurate soil and crop water content


Autonomous flying and near real-time data saves time

meter-scale resolution and large spatial coverage 

Differentiating Soil from Crop Water content

The unique and patented dual-polarization antenna array provides two simultaneous and independent measurements. Both 5cm soil moisture and vegetation water column (through L-VOD) are mapped from a single measurement. The TerraRad Radiometer can be mounted on a UAV (drone), tractor, or other agricultural machinery for the most efficient data collection scenario. 


Soil Moisture

Monitoring Plant Growth using L-VOD (Vegetation Optical Depth)

Monitoring L-VOD throughout the growing season allows direct quantification and prediction of crop yield. L-VOD, with its relation to water content, also provides the ability to determine optimal harvest timing. The images below show the seasonal progression over a mixed corn and hay field.

June 16th, 2020

August 25th, 2020

NDVI saturation at 0.8

Reference: Rodríguez-Fernández, N.J., et al. (2018) An evaluation of SMOS L-band vegetation optical depth (L-VOD) data sets: high sensitivity of L-VOD to above-ground biomass in Africa. Biogeosciences, 15, 14, 4627-4645.

Optimal Harvest Timing and Yield Prediction

The TerraRad radiometer simultaneously provides maps of soil moisture and “Vegetation Optical Depth” (also called Optical Thickness, VOD, L-VOD, or τ). L-VOD is directly proportional to crop or vegetation water content. Other crop indices including NVDI and Leaf Area Index (LAI) derived from muli- and hyper-spectral images reach saturation significantly before harvest, preventing monitoring of crops through harvest using these indices. L-VOD from the TerraRad radiometer provides reliable quantification of crops all the way through to harvest time.

Reference: Patton, J., & Hornbuckle, B. (2012). Initial validation of SMOS vegetation optical thickness in Iowa. IEEE Geoscience and Remote Sensing Letters, 10, 647-651

Data Processing
Proprietary filtering & calibration software

Our user friendly interface makes field mapping quick and easy for all. Flight planning software enables automated drone flying ensuring safe and precise flights everytime. Field data is accessible in minutes via personal computer, mobile or tablet device. 

user experience

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