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SMAP - Soil Moisture Active Passive - Mapping soil moisture and freeze/thaw state from Space
Notes from the Field
June 14, 2012
Grant Wiseman
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

After much preparation and anticipation it is hard to believe the first week of the SMAPVEX12 campaign is already behind us. The week began with a successful training session held at the Regional Operation Centre (ROC) in Winnipeg. Field teams were instructed on how to use Hydra Probes, CropScan Cameras and Surface Roughness Profilers among other data collection instruments.

The first field sampling day went extremely smooth as field crew were able to collect soil samples from 51 of the 55 agricultural sites. The forestry team were able to gather soil data from half of their selected areas. Heavy dew and ticks caught many members by surprise but a shopping trip to the local Canadian Tire store had crews fully equipped with high spirits.

Then the rain came…and continued for four days and four nights accompanied by lightning, thunder, fog and hail. Fairly unusual weather for southern Manitoba.

After Mother Nature’s setback field crews were able to collect a week’s worth of biomass samples and acquire soil information for all 55 Ag-land sites over a three day span. Structure and Roughness teams have already visited over one third of their sites. A good start and a job well done thus far!

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