In New Mexico, a first-of-its-kind network of seven large aperture scintillometer (LAS) sites was established in 2006 to measure sensible heat fluxes over irrigated fields, riparian areas, deserts, lava flows, and mountain highlands. Wireless networking infrastructure and auxiliary meteorological measurements facilitate real-time data assimilation. LAS measurements are advantageous in that they vastly exceed the footprint size of commonly used ground measurements of sensible and latent heat fluxes (~100 m2), matching the pixel size of satellite images or grid cells of hydrologic and meteorological models (~0.1–5 km2). Consequently, the LAS measurements can be used to validate, calibrate, and force hydrologic, remote sensing, and weather forecast models. Initial results are presented for 1) variability and error of sensible heat flux measurements by scintillometers over heterogeneous terrain and 2) the validation of the Surface Energy Balance Algorithm for Land (SEBAL) applied to Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) satellite imagery. Findings from this study are discussed in the context of researchers' and practitioners' data assimilation needs.

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Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, California

Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, New Mexico Tech, Socorro, New Mexico

*PREVIOUS AFFILIATION: New Mexico Tech, Socorro, New Mexico