A new remote optical wetness sensor and its applications

B.G. Heusinkveld, S.M. Berkowicz, A.F.G. Jacobs, W.C.A.M. Hillen, A.A.M. Holtslag

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


An optical wetness sensor (OWS) was developed for continuous surface wetness measurements. The sensor is an all-weather instrument that does not interfere with the surface wetting and drying process and is unaffected by solar radiation. It is equipped with its own light source with which it can scan a surface and analyse its spectral reflectance. The backscattered radiation is detected around two wave bands: 1.70 ¿m (170 nm waveband) and 1.94 ¿m (80 nm waveband). The optical design is such that the ratio of the two signals is not dependent on the sampling distance, hence making it possible to study leaves under field conditions. Field and lab testing showed that the OWS was also capable of resolving small changes in surface soil water content such as from dew. In addition, the change of leaf water content could be detected (accuracy 5%). The OWS was also capable of measuring small changes in water content in the upper soil layer (
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)580-591
JournalAgricultural and Forest Meteorology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2008


  • soil-moisture
  • negev desert
  • surface-temperature
  • western-negev
  • dew formation
  • leaf wetness
  • reflectance
  • water
  • simulation
  • israel


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