Thesis subject

MSc Thesis topic: Opportunities of high-temporal satellite systems for measuring crop phenology in the Netherlands

Information on crop phenology is important for optimal timing of agricultural management like treatment applications, which in turn can help harvest and yield optimization, as well as for forward planning of on-farm logistics. The past years new Earth observing platforms provide a capacity for near daily global terrestrial coverage at an unprecedented resolution of approximately 3 m. These satellites could provide the required dense observations frequency and also make quantitative estimations of crop properties to support precision agriculture.

The past two years, first studies have demonstrated the use of Cubesat derived crop phenology information for wheat and alfalfa in Australia and Israel, respectively. The opportunities for these kind of systems in temperate conditions (e.g., cloud cover) still need to be investigated while combination with UAV acquired multi-spectral datasets could be a way to develop complete time-series.

In this research we will combine available Cubesat datasets and available field data for a selection of fields around Wageningen to investigate application for high-temporal satellite systems in temperate European agricultural systems.

Relevance to research/projects

In this research we will cooperate with colleagues from WENR who are providing the services of the GroenMonitor.


  • Provide an overview of relevant high-temporal satellite systems for measuring crop phenology in the Netherlands in relation to agricultural management activities
  • Prepare a dataset of high-temporal satellite observations for the growing season for the area around Wageningen
  • For a selection of fields relate crop phenology parameters of the satellite observations with field observed crop parameters


Theme(s): Integrated Land Monitoring