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Cosmic Ray Neutron Sensing Use, Calibration and Validation for Soil Moisture Estimation

IAEA-TECDOC-1809 (978-92-0-101017-9)
48 pages ¦ 13 figures ¦ EUR 18.00


Nuclear and related techniques can help develop climate smart agricultural practices by optimizing water use efficiency. The measurement of soil water content is essential to improve the use of this resource in agriculture. However most sensors monitor small areas (less than 1m in radius) hence a large number of sensors are needed to obtain soil water content across a large area. This can be both costly and labour intensive and so larger scale measuring devices are needed as an alternative to traditional point based soil moisture sensing techniques. The cosmic ray neutron sensor (CRNS) is such a device that monitors soil water content in a non invasive and continuous way. This publication provides background information about this novel technique and explains in detail the calibration and validation process.