Estimating Near-surface Vertical Heat Fluxes over Agricultural Areas using a Small Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (sUAV)


Derek Rosseau


Dyer, Jamie

Committee Member

Fuhrmann, Christopher

Committee Member

Brown, Mike

Date of Degree


Original embargo terms

Visible to MSU only for 2 years

Document Type

Graduate Thesis - Open Access


We propose the use of a small unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) equipped with temperature, pressure, and relative humidity sensors to estimate sensible and latent heat fluxes over an active agricultural area in east-central Mississippi. The Bowen ratio method is applied to vertical soundings from the surface to 120 meters at 10-meter intervals. A number of flights were conducted at Mississippi State University during the late stages of the growing season with the purpose of obtaining heat flux estimates over different land surface/cover types. Results show that the UAV platform is able to provide reasonable heat and moisture flux estimates, and that the fluxes show substantial variability among different land cover types over a small spatial scale. Future work must be done to quantify the diurnal and seasonal changes in heat flux estimates over various crop types and investigate flight plans and sensor mounting options to maximize sensor precision.



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