Smart neutron detectors. Smarter irrigation.
We are investigating industrial applications for measuring soil moisture with our Li-6 neutron detectors
Why neutron detectors?
Neutron detectors, as part of a Cosmic Ray Sensing (CRS) system, can provide accurate measurements of the water content of soil, providing real-time, critical data to decision makers in irrigation, water management, agriculture, and climate monitoring.
When high-energy particles from outer space (cosmic rays) hit the Earth’s atmosphere, they cause atoms to split apart, generating showers of sub-atomic particles known as cosmic-ray neutrons. When the land surface is wet, more of these cosmic-ray neutrons are absorbed than when the land surface is dry. A CRS measures this constant signal and correlates the cosmic-ray neutron activity to a soil moisture measurement.
Silverside’s Li-6 neutron detectors offer higher count rates and cover more surface area than traditional soil moisture monitoring solutions. This enables systems with high precision and a dialed-in field of view for more accurate, user-defined measurements.
Silverside is investigating both government and commercial soil moisture sensing applications for our neutron detectors.
- EEI – Soil moisture sensing