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Welcome to Cosmic Sense

Cosmic Sense is a research unit funded by the German Science Foundation (DFG), grant no. FOR 2694. After a successful first phase, the second phase kicked off in spring 2022 for another three years.

The core approach of the research unit is advancing of the Cosmic Ray Neutron Sensing (CRNS) technology and its application together with other methods, as an innovative approach to measuring soil moisture at the scale of hundreds of meters and beyond. This scale perfectly matches the need for soil moisture assessment at the landscape scale, e.g. for small catchments, and is also an important link between point-scale soil moisture measurements and large-scale maps obtained from remote sensing or hydrological modelling. It is therefore, a highly attractive tool for both, scientific research and applied water management.

Cosmic Sense brings together scientists from nine institutes and universities from Germany and Austria, joining forces in order to advance the technology itself and develop a quantitative, adaptable, and transferable approach for observing root-zone soil moisture at the field scale while accounting for other dynamic water pools, such as biomass. In phase 2, special emphasis will be on including snow as an additional dynamic water pool in the landscape, agricultural land use such as cropped fields, and a shift towards larger scales (10 – 100 km²).

Find out more about the project, its members and latest activities!


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Title page of a scientific article

Latest Articles

Find a regularily updated list of articles published by the Cosmic Sense consortium.

Prof. Marek Zreda, walking up a alpine slope in snow shoes | Photo: Martin Schrön

Mercator Fellow

Prof. Marek Zreda has been joining the internal Cosmic Sense status meeting in April 2024 and visited some of the partners.

Photo of two scientists digging a hole at the valley bottom to install sensors with hilly landscape in the background | Photo: Cosmic Sense Consortium

Joint field campaign

The JFC in the Selke catchment came to an successful end in November 2023.

In preparation for the defense of the second phase of Cosmic Sense a short documentary was produced, featuring the activities of the Cosmic Sense team at the research site Marquardt