Information from images of Railroad Valley, Nevada captured on August 17, 2001 by the Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) may provide a powerful tool for monitoring crop health and maintenance procedures.
These images cover an area of north central Nevada. The top image shows irrigated fields, with healthy vegetation in red. The middle image highlights the amount of vegetation. The color code shows highest vegetation content in red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and purple and the lowest in black. The final image is a thermal infrared channel, with warmer temperatures in white and colder in black.
In the thermal image, the northernmost and westernmost fields are markedly colder on their northwest areas, even though no differences are seen in the visible image or the second, Vegetation Index image. This can be attributed to the presence of excess water, which can lead to crop damage.
The Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) is an imaging instrument that is flying on Terra, a satellite launched in December 1999 as part of NASA's Earth Observing System (EOS). The instrument is being used to obtain detailed maps of land surface temperature, emissivity, reflectance and elevation. The Earth Observing System (EOS) platforms are part of NASA's Earth Science Enterprise, whose goal is to obtain a better understanding of the interactions between the biosphere, hydrosphere, lithosphere and atmosphere.
NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory is a division of the California Institute of Technology, Pasadena.