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Department of Food, Agricultural and Biological Engineering


FABE Professor's Group Selected for NASA’s ECOSTRESS Science and Applications Team

Nov. 25, 2022
ECOSTRESS, a part of the International Space Station

Ohio State Department of Food, Agricultural and Biological Engineering Assistant Professor Dr. Darren Drewry’s team was awarded membership into NASA’s ECOsystem Spaceborne Thermal Radiometer Experiment on Space Station (ECOSTRESS) Science and Applications Team for their project titled, “Remotely Sensing Crop Stress in the U.S. Corn Belt.”

The ECOSTRESS instrument was launched to the International Space Station (ISS) on June 29, 2018.  The instrument is a multispectral thermal radiometer that can detect coincident thermal infrared (TIR) emission measurements of the Earth’s surface in five separate spectral bands, with the goal of understanding vegetation water use by quantifying terrestrial evapotranspiration.

The team’s project, “Remotely Sensing Crop Stress in the U.S. Corn Belt,” is designed to refine and develop new techniques of remotely sensing crop water stress and its precursors in the U.S. Corn Belt, which roughly spans from Oklahoma’s panhandle to North Dakota, and east to Ohio. This project will allow the team to develop novel methods to integrate ECOSTRESS and Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) observations into reliable satellite crop water stress detection techniques in the Corn Belt that will enable the best management of food, water, and energy systems in this important region.

Dr. Darren Drewry, site PI for Ohio State UniversityThe team is led by Dr. Brian Hornbuckle at Iowa State University and is comprised of an interdisciplinary team of scientists and engineers at Iowa State. Dr. Drewry serves as the Ohio State University Site Principal Investigator (PI).

“This is a terrific opportunity to broaden the collaboration this group started a couple of years ago through our ongoing NASA SMAP Science Team project,” said Drewry. “This new project will allow us to expand our ongoing work to include the thermal infrared observations of ECOSTRESS, a critical satellite-based observation of stomatal behavior and indicator of vegetation water stress.”

The project is scheduled to begin in January 2023. To learn more about ECOSTRESS, visit their website here! Congratulations Dr. Drewry and the rest of the newly appointed NASA ECOSTRESS Science and Applications Team!