Purdue University Graduate School
JCovertMasterThesis2020.pdf (3.7 MB)

Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Remote Sensing of Soil Moisture with I-Band Signals of Opportunity

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posted on 2020-05-08, 19:26 authored by Jared D CovertJared D Covert
Measurements of root zone soil moisture play large roles in our understanding of the water cycle, weather, climate, land-heat exchanges, drought forecasting, and agriculture. Current measurements are made using a combination of ground-based sampling and active and passive microwave remote sensing. Signals of Opportunity (SoOp) has emerged as a promising method for sensing soil moisture, using satellite communication signals to make bi-static reflectometry measurements. The current combination of ground and satellite-based measurements for soil moisture results in a gap of useful spatial and temporal resolutions, as well as limited soil penetration depth. This thesis developed and constructed an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) mountable, I-band SoOp instrument with calibration capabilities, along with supporting specular point mapping and mission planning software. This work advances the creation of a compact, mobile, root zone soil moisture (RZSM) remote sensing system.


Degree Type

  • Master of Science in Aeronautics and Astronautics


  • Aeronautics and Astronautics

Campus location

  • West Lafayette

Advisor/Supervisor/Committee Chair

Dr. James L. Garrison

Additional Committee Member 2

Dr. David Spencer

Additional Committee Member 3

Dr. Dara Entekhabi