Fwd: USGS Seminar - Mapping soil moisture, groundwater, and snow depth using radar on UAS - 9/3 @ 10:30 am (PDT)

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Fwd: USGS Seminar - Mapping soil moisture, groundwater, and snow depth using radar on UAS - 9/3 @ 10:30 am (PDT)

Annie Burgess-2
Thought some of you might find this seminar interesting.

---------- Forwarded message ---------
From: Wilson, Tamara <[hidden email]>
Date: Mon, Aug 31, 2020 at 3:22 PM
Subject: THIS THURSDAY: USGS National Innovation Center Seminar - Mapping soil moisture, groundwater, and snow depth using radar on UAS - 9/3 @ 10:30 am (PDT)

Dear Colleagues,


Please join us on Thursday, September 3 @ 10:30 am (PDT) for the next NIC seminar where Samuel Prager (UCS), Dr. Mahta Moghaddam (USC), and David O’Leary (USGS) will present their emerging work on Mapping soil moisture, groundwater, and snow depth using radar on UAS. Please feel free to invite any internal or external folks you think might be interested!


Currently, there are limited methods for large-scale mapping of the groundwater table with high resolution (within a few meters laterally and sub-meter vertically). Airborne low-frequency radars would be ideal for their large and rapid spatial coverage, but the operating frequency of existing systems (P-band, or in the 250-450 MHz range) are not low enough to penetrate more than 1 m in typical (Western US) soils. Besides drilling wells, other geophysical methods are available, such as resistivity, but also have limitations including ease of deployment and resolution. Another method of detecting the depth to water table is using ground penetrating radar (GPR). But the current GPR systems require manual operation, are heavy and large, and are slow to operate. They require a long time to cover small areas. We are developing smaller, inexpensive, easy to deploy GPR nodes, with the goal to ultimately deploy a large-scale network of these nodes in the field, unattended, for frequent measurements. The GPR nodes are developed as small form-factor self-contained radar systems based on commercial software-defined radio (SDR) units. We call this system a software-defined Radar (SDRadar). Such an in-situ network of SDRadar-based GPRs could also be augmented by an on-demand deployable UAV-based network of SDradar nodes to provide larger and/or more detailed tomographic surveys of groundwater table and soil moisture profiles. Our longer-range vision is to perform the large-scale mapping using only the UAV-based network due to its mobility, potential for larger area coverage, ease of deployment, and ability to collect data from sensitive areas such as cropland or wetlands. This would allow for near real-time measurement of the depth to groundwater without the need for expensive drilling. In this talk, we provide an overview of the development of the SDRadar technology and algorithms, as well as the latest progress in system integration and field deployments of this system.


Time: Sep 3, 2020 10:30 AM Pacific Time (US and Canada)


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Meeting ID: 160 710 7490

Passcode: 329475

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+16692545252,,1607107490#,,,,,,0#,,329475# US (San Jose)

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Thank you,




Tamara Wilson

Deputy Director, National Innovation Center

Research Geographer

U.S Geological Survey


[hidden email]

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2020_10_03_UAVSDRadar_Remote_Sensing.pptx (6M) Download Attachment