February 6, 2024
ISRO has introduced a novel Operational Soil Moisture Product, leveraging the capabilities of the EOS-04 (RISAT-1A) satellite's C-band Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR). This innovative product promises a spatial resolution of 500 meters, a significant leap forward in soil moisture monitoring for agricultural applications.
Developed by Space Applications Centre (SAC)/ISRO, the products are accessible as Analysis Ready Data (ARD) and are integrated into the Bhoonidhi portal , by the National Remote Sensing Centre (NRSC)/ISRO, adhering to the open data policy of the Department of Space. As an open data resource, it is freely available to users and scientific communities, empowering stakeholders with actionable insights derived from the latest space technology.
Soil Moisture stands as a pivotal parameter, offering crucial insights for agricultural decision-making, including irrigation scheduling, crop water management, and yield forecasting. However, existing operational soil moisture products from spaceborne missions often fall short due to their coarse spatial resolution, typically exceeding 10 kilometres.
Recognizing the pressing need for enhanced resolution, SAC, Ahmedabad has developed an indigenous algorithm capable of producing high-resolution soil moisture data at a remarkable spatial granularity of 500 meters. This product, generated with a 17-day repeatability marks a crucial step, catering directly to the needs of agricultural stakeholders across India. Extensive validation exercises, incorporating in-situ field measurements, have underscored the accuracy of this novel soil moisture product, boasting a remarkable retrieval accuracy of 92% over croplands under diverse conditions.
The high-resolution soil moisture product is poised to enhance various facets of agricultural management, offering invaluable insights into irrigation dynamics, crop stress assessment, early drought detection, flood monitoring, and soil moisture modelling. Furthermore, it enables the estimation of evapotranspiration and facilitates data assimilation in hydrological models, thereby enhancing simulations and agro-hydrological modelling efforts. The unveiling of this high-resolution soil moisture product signifies a significant stride forward in harnessing spaceborne assets for agricultural sustainability and resource management.