Crop Monitoring Based on SPOT-5 Take-5 and Sentinel-1A Data for the Estimation of Crop Water Requirements

Navarro A, Rolim J, Miguel I, Catal„o J, Silva J, Painho M, Vekerdy Z
Remote Sens. 2016, 8(6), 525;

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Optical and microwave images have been combined for land cover monitoring in different agriculture scenarios, providing useful information on qualitative and quantitative land cover changes. This study aims to assess the complementarity and interoperability of optical (SPOT-5 Take-5) and synthetic aperture radar (SAR) (Sentinel-1A) data for crop parameter (basal crop coefficient (Kcb) values and the length of the cropís development stages) retrieval and crop type classification, with a focus on crop water requirements, for an irrigation perimeter in Angola. SPOT-5 Take-5 images are used as a proxy of Sentinel-2 data to evaluate the potential of their enhanced temporal resolution for agricultural applications. In situ data are also used to complement the Earth Observation (EO) data. The Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) and dual (VV + VH) polarization backscattering time series are used to compute the Kcb curve for four crop types (maize, soybean, bean and pasture) and to estimate the length of each phenological growth stage. The Kcb values are then used to compute the cropís evapotranspiration and to subsequently estimate the crop irrigation requirements based on a soil water balance model. A significant R2 correlation between NDVI and backscatter time series was observed for all crops, demonstrating that optical data can be replaced by microwave data in the presence of cloud cover. However, it was not possible to properly identify each stage of the crop cycle due to the lack of EO data for the complete growing season.