The researcher of the University of La Serena and coordinator of the mission NASA-UAVSAR, Mg. Héctor Maureira, granted an interview to the radio program '' Dimensión Internacional '' of the US Embassy in Chile, on the occasion of the international project that allowed a NASA air vehicle that has a polarimetric L-band radar sensor to fly over in April, a large part of the Coquimbo Region, with the purpose of making soil moisture measurements by means of radar remote sensing.
In this radial space, the head of the Central Laboratory of Analysis and Applied Research of the house of studies, gave details of this initiative that contemplated the measurement, for the second consecutive year, of four agricultural fields in the area (Juan Soldado, Callegari, La Alpina and Las Cardas), in addition to the vineyards of Tamaya and Tabalí (Province of Limarí). These last two, in the framework of the international cooperation project involving scientists from NASA, the Research Service of the Department of Agriculture of the United States and the University of La Serena, through Mg. Héctor Maureira, whose purpose is to create a Water Management Model for vine cultivation, using satellite data, which will provide a decision-making tool for irrigation management, through Evapotranspiration, Temperature and Humidity maps. Soil and Vegetation, and Water Stress.
Coinciding with the passage of the aircraft, a Land Group made up of more than 70 people, made measurements and took samples of soil and vegetation in the aforementioned agricultural fields, in such a way to validate the data remotely sensed by the radar. It is expected that through the use of this satellite information, it will be possible to increase yield and quality related to key parameters such as yield per hectare, sugar content and bunch density. In addition, the Water Management Model could be expanded to other crops or natural plant cover in the Coquimbo Region, currently exposed to a long period of drought.
The interview with the researcher of the ULS and the scientific attaché of the Embassy of the United States in Chile, Pablo Valdez, is available in http://spanish.chile.usembassy.gov/2014dimension051614sp_nasa.html.