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Sherwood B. Idso and Ray D. Jackson

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Sherwood B. Idso and Ray D. Jackson

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Sherwood B. Idso, Ray D. Jackson, and Robert J. Reginato

Abstract

A procedure is developed for removing data scatter in the thermal inertia approach to remote sensing of soil moisture that arises from environmental variability in time and space. It entails the utilization of nearby National Weather Service air temperature measurements to normalize measured diurnal surface temperature variations to what they would have been for a day of standard diurnal air temperature variation, arbitarily assigned to be 18°C. Tests of the procedure's basic premise on a bare loam soil and a crop of alfalfa indicate it to be conceptually sound. It is possible the technique could also be useful in other thermal inertia applications, such as lithographic mapping.

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Sherwood B. Idso, Ray D. Jackson, and Robert J. Reginato

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A simple laboratory technique is described for making rapid emittance measurements with an infrared thermometer. It is shown that when the infrared thermometer head is held flush against a surface, its output is a linear function of surface emittance. Thus, viewing two or more surfaces of known emittance in this manner “calibrates” the infrared thermometer, so that viewing an unknown surface at the same temperature in this manner will yield its emittance., Emittance values of the standard surfaces employed may be obtained via any of a variety of emittance measurement methods previously developed. A nomograph is presented that shows the possible errors that can occur as a result of temperature differences that may exist between the test and standard surfaces.

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