Friday, 28 August 2015

The SMAPEx-5 blog is online

Our fifth and last SMAPEx field campaing is starting soon and our blog is already online. Please visit us on for daily updates on the preparations for departure, arrival of the Teams to the field, and daily activities during our sampling days. See you there!

Saturday, 23 May 2015

Life in the field with SMAPEx-4

Q&A with Amy McNally, one of the first participants of the SMAPEx-4 campaign, here.

Friday, 22 May 2015

Fingers in the pie

If you look closely you can see the imprint of a hand right over the core SMAP validation area, that shadowed it from the heavy rain experienced in the north and east of the site on Tuesday May 19th.

Post by: Prof Jeffrey Walker, Monash University, Australia

And now we're famous!

A story about the work we have been doing in the Yanco area has made it to the front page of the local newspaper.

Post by: Prof Jeffrey Walker, Monash University, Australia

All good things must come to an end

It has been an enjoyable time and a diversity of conditions observed over the past three weeks.

The team enjoys a celebratory dinner at the end of the last sampling day, before completing the pack up and long drive back home.

Post by: Prof Jeffrey Walker, Monash University, Australia

Remeniscing about SMAPEx-4

SMAPEx-4 is almost over and participants are ready to return home. Now it's time to look back at some non-SMAP related events during the campaign, as where there is work, there needs to be fun, too. Here are the first ones, Anouk and Al cleaning up the raffles (on two different days) at the Leeton Soldiers Club.

And Al not waiting long to put it to good use...

Thursday, 21 May 2015

Article from our colleagues at UNSW

Seokhyeon Kim and Robert Parinussa from the Water Research Centre at the University of New South Wales in Sydney (Australia) are part of the group of scientists participating in the SMAPEx-4 campaign. Check out the article about the experiment that has been published at their website here

Wednesday, 20 May 2015

Thunder and lightning

Today a front passed through bringing with it a lot of rain associated with thunderstorm activity. Till 3:30pm there has been more than 20mm of rain since 9am. Ground sampling from 6am was unhindered but the flight was cancelled due to showers of rain between 3am and 5am.

Post by: Prof Jeffrey Walker, Monash University, Australia

Monday, 18 May 2015

Electromagnetic induction measurements

Philipp comes from the Forschungszentrum Jülich in Germany and is the responsible at Team E of the electromagnetic induction (EMI) measurements. These are acquired using a CMD-MiniExplorer instrument towed by a 4WD at the YB5 and YB7 focus farms. On the flight days, geo- referenced parallel EMI tracks are measured every 125 m following the intensive soil moisture sampling grid. The sampling frequency is 2 Hz and the vehicle speed is 10 – 15 km/h. Below you can see some action pictures of Philipp.
Photos by: Muhsiul Hassan, Monash University, Australia

Saturday, 16 May 2015

Weather radar

Scenic view of the weather radar near Gillembah with blue sky. Looking forward to the forecasted rain this coming week.

Post by: YeNan, Monash University, Australia

Friday, 15 May 2015

Trihedral transects

The team checks out the alignment of the six trihedrals used for the calibration of the PLIS radar.

Post by: Xiaoling Wu, Monash University, Australia

Thursday, 14 May 2015

Soft and fluffy pillows

If only I was tucked up in bed with a soft pillow; rather I get to look out the window at another sunny sunrise over a landscape completely veiled in soft and fluffy clouds, and cold windy conditions below.

Post by: Prof Jeffrey Walker, Monash University, Australia

And the rain falls down

On Sunday May 10th afternoon the heavens opened and gave around 5 to 10mm rain across much of the study area covered by the aircraft. The effect of this is clearly seen in the brightness temperatures from PLMR. Compare this to the earlier plots from days 1 and 2.

Post by: Prof Jeffrey Walker, Monash University, Australia

Wednesday, 13 May 2015

PLIS pleasure

Hooray! We found the faulty component, the filter on the right V port. So now the PLIS radar is working on all polarisations for both left and right antennas.

Post by: Prof Jeffrey Walker, Monash University, Australia

Tuesday, 12 May 2015

Meet Team A, first edition

Introducing Team A! During the first days, Team A members were Ye Nan, Yoann, Shuvashis, Wosin and Grey. This Team does intensive soil moisture and vegetation sampling at crops. Check out the photos below to learn how is a sampling day at this Team!

Photos by: Yoann Malbetau, CESBIO, France

Please PLIS

Muhsiul works in vain to get the PLIS radar working properly. Only getting HH in the right antenna; left antenna functioning fine.

Post by: Prof Jeffrey Walker, Monash University, Australia

Sunday, 10 May 2015

Meet the vegetation sampling Team

The Vegetation Team gets to visit all the sites and we have seen lots of different vegetation.  We found a rice field that hadn't been harvested yet and some just planted Lupins.  Here are pictures of what we do every day.  Last Friday, we made a friend in YF who was hopping along the road next to us.

Alex taking LAI measurements 
Lynn and Paul taking spectral measurements of very small Lupins
Friend we made at YF
Paul getting spectral measurements in burnt maize field

Post by: Lynn McKee, USDA, USA

Surface roughness sampling Team

Meet Jon and Sabah, who are in charge of the surface roughness measurements during the campaign.

Post by: Sabah Sabaghy, Monash University, Australia

Saturday, 9 May 2015

A glimpse of my first working week

This is how I start measuring soil moisture with HDAS and think others do the same.

You may want to know how we are after finishing the work. Check this photo of Alan and myself!

For sure, the days off are a good way to relax and become creative!!!!!!!

Post by: Sabah Sabaghy, Monash University, Australia

Friday, 8 May 2015

Thursday, 7 May 2015

Sampling days 4 and 5 at Team E

Philipp during a soil conductivity measurement
Various shots taken at YB5 and YB7 focus areas
Last sampling day for François. We will miss your expertise in radiometry and
your sense of humor. I hope you will find Chicken Parmigiana in Belgium!

Performing a cold calibration of the ELBARA III radiometer
at the end of the sampling

Setting up the lake station at Lake Wyangan
Post by: Muhsiul Hassan, Monash University, Australia

A road trip with Team C

Team C, which in these first days of campaign is composed by Alan, Fuqin Li, Sabah, Seokhyeon Kim and Amy, is responsible for the soil moisture sampling at regional scale.

Amy has shared with us some great photos. Let's join them in their road trip!

Post by: Amy McNally, NASA/GSFC, USA