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Marquardt: Long-term observatory

The field site  Marquardt is located close to Potsdam and was established as a field lab for digital agriculture by the Leibniz Institute for Agricultural Engineering and Bioeconomy (ATB). On more than 20 hectares, the ATB does research on topics like precision farming, food safety and quality and sustainable agriculture. Since 2019, this site is one of the field sites of Cosmic Sense. The different and well defined land use types and management practices are perfectly suited to investigate the impact of sub-footprint heterogeneity on CRNS measurements.

Currently, 13 CRNS probes, several soil moisture profile probes, and a GNSS-R station are installed for continuous monitoring of soil moisture dynamics. Additionally, several field campaigns have been carried out, including drone explorations (operated by TU Berlin), ground truth campaigns to determine soil moisture, bulk density and organic matter, vegetation mapping and mobile CRNS explorations (UFZ Leipzig). The field site Marquardt will remain in the focus of the research unit Cosmic Sense also throughout the second project phase.

Activities and developments



Since the beginning of April, a new Boron-3-Fluoride (BF3) based probe has been tested in Marquardt. This LAB-C from QUAESTA Instruments LLC is currently the most sensitive probe with a sensitivity 10.4 times higher than the other CRS-1000 (1300 counts per 20 minutes). Because of its characteristics it can also be used for Roving.


The team of the University of Potsdam was able to use the intensive snowfall this winter and performed  manual snow measurements, ultrasonic height measurements, precipitation measurements, optical measurements with cameras. The thickness of the snow surface was measured with snow pack levels.



The team from the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research Leipzig was also on site and carried out a rover campaign. Here a short Video.


In July 2020 a soil moisture measurement campaign was carried out after intensive artificial irrigation by sprinkler systems. The TU Berlin team of the Remote Sensing Research Modul was also involved. Here is a short video of the irrigation.



During an intensive measuring campaign, about 30 points were sampled with a Split-Tube-Sampler and about 70 soil moisture profiles were measured with an FDR-probe.


Setting the Soil-Profile-Probes

From September to November

intensive maintenance work is carried out every week

Exploratory drone flights and hyerspektrale as well as thermal images are completed.


Setting up and the CRNS- Probes immediately after the Joint Field Campaign in Fendt.  There are now 12 CRNS-Probes of different types installed on this site.