Funding for an ARC-DP proposal on High Resolution Mapping of Surface and Root Zone Soil Moisture by Walker, Kalma and Kim was recently announced. Significant cost components of this proposal are major airborne field campaigns in November 2005 and again in November 2006. These campaigns will be undertaken within the OzNet Goulburn River (2005) and Kyeamba/Yanco/Adelong (2006) experimental catchments (instrumented for soil moisture, soil temperature, rainfall, runoff, etc). The campaigns will consist of approximately 100hrs of flying with a thermal imager (1m resolution), L-band passive microwave radiometer (50m resolution) -- PLMR+ -- and NDVI scanner (1m resolution), in each of the two years, with significant ground support crews. Additionally, the Airborne Research Australia aircraft can carry a meteorological package for energy and carbon flux measurements, take high resolution digital photography (11 MegaPixel), and plan to undertake a laser scan of each site for topographic and vegetation information (1m resolution and 0.1m height accuracy); it is possible that we can also carry a hyperspectral scanner (depending on availability).

While the main objective of these campaigns, at least with regard to the ARC project funding them, is to collect data in support of soil moisture remote sensing, we see this as a fabulous opportunity to extend to a long overdue National Airborne Field Experiment (NAFE) with much broader scope and application to a range of related scientific fields, including hydrology, ecology and atmospheric sciences. For example, a recently funded ARC-DP project by Hancock, Kalma and McDonnelll on Carbon, Nutrient and Sediment Dynamics will provide financial support for, and be an active participant in, the field campaign in the Goulburn River (NSW) catchment.

The airborne campaigns described above will use the newly established national capability for multidisciplinary airborne environmental remote sensing which has been established with two recent ARC-LIEF grants. Funding for the microwave radiometer and thermal imager to be used in this work has been obtained with an 2004 ARC-LIEF grant obtained by Walker, Grayson, Hacker and Kalma, whereas the airborne laser scanner will be obtained with a recently announced 2005 ARC-LIEF grant by Dare, Hacker, Walker, Jones, Kalma and Lewis.

If you would like to be added to the NAFE mailing list please contact Dr Jeffrey Walker. Please feel free to inform your friends and colleagues you think may be interested in collaborating in this airborne experiment about this activity.

Created: February 2005
Last Modified: February 2005
Maintainer: Jeffrey Walker,

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