CRNS sensor installation at Apulian Tavoliere site

In the framework of SoMMet research activities, on 4 April 2023 the CRNS (cosmic-ray neutron sensing) sensor developed by the project partner PoliMi (Politecnico di Milano) was installed at the test field site Apulian Tavoliere operated by the partner CNR (Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche). This novel sensor called W-PIE (thanks to its similarity to a wedding-pie shape) consists of a combination of different detectors that are sensitive to different energy regions of naturally occurring neutrons (a concept similar to few-channel neutron spectrometry). Based on the long-term monitoring of the neutron signals, the dynamics of the soil moisture on a large area around the sensor can be inferred, according to the principle of the CRNS method. The W-PIE sensor was used at the Apulian Tavoliere site for several months and the recorded datasets are being compared with point-scale soil moisture sensors data as well as the satellite-derived soil moisture data.

Further details on the W-PIE detector can be found in scientific literature: