The research module "Smart Coverage" (SC) is part of the DFG-funded research unit Cosmic Sense (2nd phase). The main goal of the research unit is the improvement of Cosmic Ray Neutron Sensing (CRNS), a method to measure root zone soil moisture non-invasively. The module SC focuses on the applicability of CRNS at various scales. A dense network of CRNS sensors is used to assess the variability of soil moisture at the field scale (up to 1 km², downscaling). This approach builds on the work and results of the research module “Massive Coverage” (MC) from phase I, as well as the unique datasets from the Joint Field Campaigns (JFCs) in Fendt and Wüstebach and the long-term observatory in Marquardt.
Additionally to the field scale application, the potential of CRNS networks at the meso scale (up to 100 km²) is to be explored in the 2nd project phase. At this scale, a full coverage of the investigated area with CRNS sensors is impossible. Therefore, machine learning algorithms will be applied to identify suitable combinations of stationary CRNS measurements and proxy variables obtained from remote sensing, hydrological modelling or landscape analysis, which allow for upscaling to the meso scale. The identified procedure will be applied and tested at the meso-scale Joint Field Campaign in the Selke catchment .