In the EU-funded GROW Observatory project, thousands of citizens (farmers, growers, scientists, and hobbyists) from 13 European countries have come together in an unprecedented effort to establish a ground-based soil moisture monitoring network of more than 6,000 low-cost sensors. The objectives and results of the project have been captured in a video.
An extensive evaluation of the low-cost sensor against lab measurements and professional field probes carried by TU Wien GEO showed that the skill of the low-cost sensors easily qualifies them for earth system research. A subset of the GROW data have been included in the International Soil Moisture Network (ISMN) and can be accessed there: https://ismn.geo.tuwien.ac.at/. The data have already proved useful for various scientific studies, e.g. for downscaling coarse-resolution satellite soil moisture data to the fine field scale.
Xaver, A., Zappa, L., Rab, G., Pfeil, I., Vreugdenhil, M., Hemment, D., and Dorigo, W. (2020) Evaluating the suitability of the consumer low-cost Parrot Flower Power soil moisture sensor for scientific environmental applications, Geosci. Instrum. Method. Data Syst., 9, 117-139, https://doi.org/10.5194/gi-9-117-2020
Zappa, L., Woods, M., Hemment, D., Xaver, A., Dorigo, W. (2020) Evaluation of remotely sensed soil moisture products using crowdsourced measurements. SPIE Proceedings, Eight International Conference on Remote Sensing and Geoinformation on Environment, in press. https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2571913
Zappa, L., Forkel, M., Xaver, A., Dorigo, W. (2019) Deriving field scale soil moisture from satellite observations and ground measurements in a hilly agricultural region. Remote Sens. 2019, 11, 2596. https://doi.org/10.3390/rs11222596