For decades, the state of agriculture (both soils and crops) has been monitored with optical sensors. Yet the use of Synthetic Aperture Radars (SARs) for this purpose drew limited interest. The engineering behind satellite-based SARS has advanced significantly and with this the use of these sensors for monitoring agriculture has greatly expanded. This presentation will discuss the advancements in the use of SAR satellite data for monitoring crops and soils, including the use of SAR to identify crops, monitor the condition of crops and estimate soil moisture. An insight into how future radar sensors are expected to provide even greater opportunities will be provided.
Dr. Heather McNairn received a Bachelor of Environmental Studies from the University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Canada, in 1987, a Masters in Soil Science from the University of Guelph, Guelph, Canada in 1991, and a Ph.D. in Geography from Université Laval, Quebec City, Canada in 1999. Dr. McNairn is a senior scientist with Agriculture and Agri-food Canada. She has 25 years of experience researching methods to monitor crops and soil using multi-spectral, hyperspectral and Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) sensors. Dr. McNairn is an adjunct professor at Carleton University (Ottawa) and the University of Manitoba (Winnipeg). She has led numerous national and international research teams and has authored 50 peer reviewed scientific papers.