Scientific Calendar Event

Description Note: ICTP has suspended all educational activities from 24 February up to 15 May as precautionary measures due to COVID-19; more details at

Cosmic Ray Neutron Sensor (CRNS) has potential for soil moisture monitoring of agricultural land. The results can be used for irrigation scheduling and extreme weather event forecasting. Remote sensing can extrapolate the acquired soil moisture data to larger areas.

The increasing demand for food production due to population increase and climatic hazards requires improving land management practices. One of major demands is to support the decision processes by reliable and representative information on soil moisture, which is difficult to obtain by conventional soil moisture measurements. CRNS is a much more suitable technique for this purpose since it is non-invasive and has a large footprint overcoming the problem of soil moisture spatial microvariability. The data acquired from CRNS measurements can be used for scientific tasks such as validation of hydrological models and remote sensing soil moisture products, as well as for practical land management and environmental applications such as soil moisture management under rainfed agriculture, irrigation scheduling, drought management and flood forecast.

  • Basic principles of soil moisture measurements using Cosmic Ray Neutron Sensor (CRNS)
  • Methodological challenges: footprint extension, heterogeneity mapping, root depth moisture interpolation, biomass impact
  • Hydrological models as a tool used for land management
  • Use of remote sensing and soil moisture products for land management
  • Use of CRNS data for hydrological modeling
  • Use of CRNS data for validation of remote sensing soil moisture products
  • Use of CRNS data for rainfed agriculture
  • Use of CRNS data for irrigation scheduling
  • Use of CRNS data for drought management
  • Use of CRNS data for flood forecast


T. FRANZ, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, USA
W. WOLFGANG, TU Wien, Austria

The applicants should have background in agricultural sciences, earths sciences or physics and the experience in research activities at the field of soil water management and use of Cosmic Ray Neutron Sensor (CRNS).

The applicants from institutions having already own CRNS and running CRNS measurements at stationary monitoring sites will be preferred. Experience with remote sensing is also welcomed, but not mandatory.
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