UCL Department of Geography


SoW Kick-off Meeting

Kick-off Meeting of the STFC/NSFC Newton Agri-Tech Joint Fund Project: Sentinels of Wheat (SoW) was Held Successfully in Beijing

SoW SAR Kick-off meeting

The kick-off Meeting of the STFC/NSFC Newton Agri-Tech Joint Fund Project: Sentinels of Wheat (SoW) co-chaired by China Agricultural University (CAU) and University College London(UCL) was successfully launched at China Agricultural University on April 16, 2018.

More than 30 participants from China and the United Kingdom attended the kick-off meeting including scholars from Newcastle University (NU), University College London (UCL), the National Engineering Research Center for Information Technology in Agriculture (NERCITA), the Institute of Agricultural Resources and Regional Planning of the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences (CAAS), Chinese Academy of Meteorological Sciences (CAMS), and Beijing Normal University (BNU).

SoW Kick-off Meeting V2

Dr John Styles and Andy Shaw, the STFC project director, Professor  Zhaohu Li, the Vice President of China Agricultural University, and Professor  Xiaodong Zhang, the Assistant Dean of the College of Land Science and Technology of CAU delivered speeches. Professor  Zhaohu Li and Professor  Xiaodong Zhang expressed their congratulations on the launch of the project and a warm welcome to all the attendees, especially the experts from the UK. Professor Zhaohu Li thought remote sensing is certainly going to be very important now and in the future, especially for China, a huge country that attached more and more importance to agriculture. He also looked forward to the agricultural remote sensing technology of this project will promote agriculture in China and help national policy-making. At the same time, he introduced the basic situation of China Agricultural University and the Department of Geographic Information Engineering. He promised that he will provides strong support and guarantee for project funds, personnel, etc. and hopes to establish a long-term relationship throughout this project.

During the kick-off meeting, Professor Li Zhenhong introduced the basic information of the SoW project. And scientists from the 8 work packages reported their progress, respectively. Both Chinese and British experts focused on quantitative remote sensing, data assimilation of remote sensing data, data fusion, monitoring of crop growth, evapotranspiration, and smart agriculture. The STFC/NSFC Newton Agri-Tech Joint Fund Project aims at combining the optical and radar data provided by Sentinel satellites with the CHARMS system to carry out wheat growth monitoring and yield forecasting to achieve the rational use of water and ensure the country’s food security.

After introductions and presentations from each partner, we discussed the scientific details of the research and we discussed further thoughts on the research contents, and we agreed that this project should be isolated from the former one. Data assimilation is the key part and the ET model is totally new in this project and we need to spend more time on it. And in the research, we should focus on SAR and reflectance joint assimilation. Data sharing between different work packages is ensured, and soil moisture and ensemble forecasts will be shared quickly. NCU and UCL will hold a workshop in the UK this summer, and we will set a timetable soon for academic visits and scholars exchange.