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Comprehensive information service for soil moisture and drought

Posted: Monday 4th March 2019

The first global cloud service for soil moisture and drought data is established as KISTERS, the German provider of IT solutions for water management and hydrology, and VanderSat, the Dutch specialist for earth observation especially water via satellites, have combined their expertise since December 2018.

The new service facilitates better protection and optimization of harvests as well as the channeling of water for more efficient irrigation practices or groundwater recharge. Users not only receive general satellite-based soil moisture data, but also practical calculations about their own catchment area including drought indices, plant-available water at root level, and predictions of soil moisture. This information serves as a reliable basis for early, effective decisions and measures against extreme situations such as drought, of which frequency and spread is expected to continue to increase as a result of climate change.

VanderSat's new satellite-based microwave sensing method is the only area-wide technology for measuring soil moisture affordably and with high precision comparable to air- or ground-based sensors. KISTERS integrates VanderSat’s global soil moisture data into its proven software for analysis, visualization and prediction of water data as well as customizable alarms and transformation into actionable information using sophisticated analytical functions.

The new flexible cloud service runs in the security-certified KISTERS data center in Aachen. Software as a service (SaaS) subscriptions cover a specific geographic area for a certain period of time at low costs, and data are delivered via modern web browser interfaces or directly in KISTERS Water Software. KISTERS IT experts take care of software maintenance and updates, especially critical cybersecurity.

Practical, useful soil moisture information for your own catchment area
"With VanderSat, we have found a highly specialized partner who complements our water solutions with a valuable element," says Michael Natschke, Head of Business Development Water at KISTERS AG. "Our new service reliably presents meaningful information about soil moisture in easy-to-understand graphics and maps, in great detail for small catchment areas. In terms of technology we can rely on our cloud experiences, e.g. with our precipitation service HydroMaster." Richard de Jeu, Founder and Chief Technology Officer of VanderSat, adds, "With our patented microwave measurement method, we can see through clouds and vegetation to capture very accurate measurement data. We achieve a unique resolution, both spatially with a detail of 100 x 100 meters and temporally. We are happy to make our solutions available to the global water sector together with KISTERS. This partnership brings us one step closer to delivering daily data on 1 billion hectares worldwide by 2020."

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