Measuring soil properties in the field or the lab using VIS-NIR spectroscopy is an established methodology in soil sensing and science. However, the sensors used for this are in general (very) expensive and can be laborious to use in the field. Recently, a new spectrometer has been developed by SCiO that is cheap and connects to a smartphone. SCiO claims to achieve very good results, once a database for a certain property/medium is built. In your thesis, you will built a database for soil carbon and other soil properties.
Tauw BV (Dutch engineering company) has purchased a SCiO sensor and aims to test the sensor and develop a training database for soil property measurements of texture, organic matter and perhaps chemical components such as nutrients and contaminations. Wageningen University and ISRIC both have soil sample collections that have been measured on soil properties and with high quality spectrometers ( ASD). These collections can be used to build the required reference database for the SCiO sensor for soil characterisation and monitoring of soil properties in the field.
- perform SCiO measurements
- perform soil texture estimates or lab measurements
- analyse the potential for and quality of the Scio measurements for determining various soil properties in the lab
- develop a measurement protocol for working with SCiO
- analyse the potential for and quality of the Scio measurements for various soil properties in the field
- suggest actions aimed at implementation and/or acceptance of SCIO measurements for soil property determination
- Experience/knowledge of spectral analysis and soil science is required