uni colorado droughtCU Boulder engineers, scientists and students are teaming up with Black Swift Technologies of Boulder to use unmanned aircraft in the coming weeks to measure water moisture at a test irrigation farm in Yuma, Colorado.CU Boulder engineers, scientists and students are teaming up with Black Swift Technologies of Boulder to use unmanned aircraft in the coming weeks to measure water moisture at a test irrigation farm in Yuma, Colorado. 

The testing will take place at the Irrigation Research Foundation (IRF), a research and demonstration farm in northeast Colorado. The team will fly high-tech sensors mounted on drones that will be able to assess moisture in crop fields at a resolution of about 50 feet across and to a depth of about 8 inches, said Professor Brian Argrow of the Ann and H.J. Smead Aerospace Engineering Sciences. The effort is part of Project Drought, a CU Boulder initiative to use drones to improve the understanding and prediction of drought, flooding and agricultural vulnerabilities. The sensor on the drone that will be used in Yuma was developed by a team led by CU Boulder Professor Al Gaseiwski of electrical, computer and energy engineering. Project Drought is one of five research efforts initiated under CU Boulder’s Integrated Remote and In Situ Sensing (IRISS) project, directed by Argrow. IRISS is a pillar of the university’s Grand Challenge initiative efforts to harness science, technology and innovation to solve key national or global problems. Project Drought is a collaboration of CU Boulder’s Research and Engineering Center for Unmanned Vehicles (RECUV) and the Center for Environmental Technology (CET). Read More