Articles | Volume 11, issue 1
Research article
16 Feb 2022
Research article |  | 16 Feb 2022

Assessing the feasibility of a directional cosmic-ray neutron sensing sensor for estimating soil moisture

Till Francke, Maik Heistermann, Markus Köhli, Christian Budach, Martin Schrön, and Sascha E. Oswald

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Cited articles

Baatz, R., Bogena, H. R., Hendricks-Franssen, H.-J., Huisman, J. A., Montzka, C., and Vereecken, H.: An empirical vegetation correction for soil water content quantification using cosmic ray probes, Water Resour. Res., 51, 2030–2046,, 2015. a, b, c
Baroni, G. and Oswald, S.: A scaling approach for the assessment of biomass changes and rainfall interception using cosmic-ray neutron sensing, J. Hydrol., 525, 264–276,, 2015. a
Baroni, G., Scheiffele, L. M., Schrön, M., Ingwersen, J., and Oswald, S. E.: Uncertainty, sensitivity and improvements in soil moisture estimation with cosmic-ray neutron sensing, J. Hydrol., 564, 873–887,, 2018. a
Bogena, H. R., Huisman, J. A., Baatz, R., Hendricks-Franssen, H.-J., and Vereecken, H.: Accuracy of the cosmic-ray soil water content probe in humid forest ecosystems: The worst case scenario, Water Resour. Res., 49, 5778–5791,, 2013. a, b
Coopersmith, E. J., Cosh, M. H., and Daughtry, C. S.: Field-scale moisture estimates using COSMOS sensors: A validation study with temporary networks and Leaf-Area-Indices, J. Hydrol., 519, 637–643, 2014. a
Short summary
Cosmic-ray neutron sensing (CRNS) is a non-invasive tool for measuring hydrogen pools like soil moisture, snow, or vegetation. This study presents a directional shielding approach, aiming to measure in specific directions only. The results show that non-directional neutron transport blurs the signal of the targeted direction. For typical instruments, this does not allow acceptable precision at a daily time resolution. However, the mere statistical distinction of two rates is feasible.