Monday, 28 September 2015

All good things must come to an end

After a long 3-weeks of tireless work it is time to celebrate and go home. A good time was had by all, and an amazing data set has been collected.

Friday, 25 September 2015

New participant joined - The UAV

Operated by James and Scott, the UAV flew over the YB5 area with a camera mounted to map the ground conditions at high resolution.

Xiaoling Wu

Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Canola sampling

Team B is hard at work making structural measurements of a canola field. This will be important data for radar interpretation. Repeat monitoring at a range of fields and sites within fields gives insight to the temporal evolution of the vegetation properties.


Friday, 18 September 2015

Wet spots persist

While there is a nice drydown underway and expected to persist, the H-pol brightness temperatures from Flight 4 of the campaign show that ponding is likely to persist throughout the experiment in some parts of the study area.

Jeffrey Walker

Thursday, 17 September 2015

Long day

Long day for Captain Jeff. Great views from the cockpit.


Even aircraft get flat tyres


The aircraft got a flat tyre before taking off and pilots spent more than 2 hours jacking the aircraft up, taking the tyre off and getting it fixed!

Ying Gao

Wednesday, 16 September 2015

Beautiful radar images

The PLIS radar is producing very nice images of the cropping areas. Shown here is a small sample of HH and VH polarised backscatter.

Jeffrey Walker

Paying attention to the training briefing on driving ...

... could have meant not getting bogged ...

A very innovative way of testing soil moisture measurement techniques. However, I don't think I'll be taking this method back to the states.

Dry down is underway

A nice dry down is underway as seen in the H-pol brightness temperature data from the first 3 flights of the experiment.

Jeffrey Walker

First day with the team

Had my first day in the field today, doing vegetation sampling with Team A. After a bit of morning clouds, we had some fantastic weather! From red soils to open ranges, the land sure reminded me of some spots in central Texas!

Chuck Abolt

Tuesday, 15 September 2015

15th Sep at the Vegetation Team

Today, 15th Sep, the sky was cloudy. I had to wait for Sun to come out so that I can do crop scanning.

The winter wheat was amazing today! It was growing inside the stalk and was about to come out.

Zeinab Yazdanfar

Monday, 14 September 2015

BBQ on the day off :)

Sunday September 13th was a day off from field work, so there was a group BBQ at Inga.

Lynn McKee

Friday, 11 September 2015


Weather Project Lures NASA to Aus

"NASA scientists will join Monash University Professor Jeffrey Walker and his team to validate new NASA satellite technology orbiting 685 kilometres above Earth in a bid to develop ways to better predict weather events and monitor drought, which will have huge benefits for the agricultural industry and climate change". Read more here.

Thursday, 10 September 2015

First day of surface roughness sampling

Surface roughness measurement team members Liujun and Jon with Sabah as an assistant had a good working day. 

Sabah Sabaghy

Wednesday, 9 September 2015

Vegetation Team

The Vegetation Team consisting of Lynn McKee (USDA), Tim Larson (GMU) and Zeinab Yazdanfar (Monash) spent their first day in the field sampling pretty vegetation. They were working in a Canola field and a Lupin field characterizing the vegetation.

Lynn McKee

Off to a wet start

As anticipated the campaign gets off to a wet start, with quite a bit of surface water from all the recent rain resulting in very low brightness temperature observation. The warmer weather predicted for the next few weeks should see a nice dry down take place. This will also provide a nice test for SMAPs water correction algorithm.

Jeff Walker

Tuesday, 8 September 2015

Hands-on training for the soil moisture teams

The soil moisture team members are enjoying getting their hands dirty with the Hydraprobe Data Acquisition System (HDAS) manufactured by Monash University.

Jeff Walker

Surveying the YB sites on Day 0


Quite a contrast from SMAPEx-4, Day 0 (training day) of SMAPEx-5 is wet, cold, and even more wet!

Luigi Renzullo

Monday, 7 September 2015

Canola season in the Southern hemisphere

The aircraft crew arrived in Yanco yesterday, September 6th. They managed to capture the beauty of the blooming of canola flowers, as the Spring season starts in the Southern Hemisphere. Also visible was the water ponding in the YB area, due to the over 50 mm rainfall registered in the area in the past two weeks.
Ying Gao

Welcome to the SMAPEx-5 Team

The participants of SMAPEx-5 have arrived and are eager to get trained for their daily activities.


Friday, 4 September 2015

Babysitting PLIS

Got some problems with the PLIS V-pol transmitter and receiver, Monash people have spent days and nights repairing and testing to make the baby become healthy again!


Thursday, 3 September 2015

And, the workplan is ready

The SMAPEx-5 workplan has been released. It can be downloaded from here.

Enjoy and see you soon in Yanco!