Universität Bonn

INRES Crop Science

Site-specific calibration of soil moisture sensors in Brandenburg

BSc Thesis

Occasion / state of knowledge / significance

The DAKIS project is about integrating ecosystem services, biodiversity and resource efficiency into the decision-making process of farmers, documenting, forecasting and controlling site-specific effects of agricultural activities in real time for the first time.

In addition, cultivation systems are to be optimized for ecosystem services, biodiversity and resource efficiency.

These methods will initially be applied on a small scale and then on a larger scale. The trial area is currently in the phase of small-scale implementation and evaluation of measures.

The following steps have already been taken on the trial site:

  • Implementation of 38 sample points with 2-3 subplots each
  • Over 3 years of vegetation surveys at these points as well as biomass sampling (incl. laboratory analysis) & LAI measurements
  • Grasshopper mapping
  • 3 years of regular drone flights (multispectral from 2022)
  • Inspection with Geophillus soil measurement system
  • Mapping of 36 soil sample points incl. laboratory analysis of 37 exemplary layers
  • Installation of floor sensor network (remote data transmission)
  • Installation of (micro) climate sensor network (remote data transmission)
  • Installation of bioacoustics network with data loggers
  • Presentation at grassland conference of correlations between vegetation parameters (e.g. moisture indicator values) and soil maps (Geophillus), as well as other various conferences


The aim of the final thesis is to calibrate the installed soil moisture sensors with the help of various soil tests and the manufacturer's specifications and thus to ensure an exact spatial and temporal change in soil moisture on the study area.

Methodology / Procedure / Workscope

  • Incorporating existing data
  • Calibration of the sensors by taking lancing cylinder samples on site in Brandenburg (travel & accommodation provided), as well as the subsequent execution and evaluation of the calibration in the laboratory in Bonn

The project has various partner institutes and doctoral theses, so that broad support for the thesis can be guaranteed. If interested, a Master's thesis can be added.

Expected results

With the help of calibration, the raw soil moisture data already recorded and to be recorded in the future can be made accessible. It can be shown that such a calibration is essential and should be carried out on a site-specific basis, regardless of the general manufacturer specifications.


3 months


English or German

Required prior knowledge

Basic knowledge of soil science desirable


Dr. Thomas Gaiser, MSc. Jasper Mohr


Dr. Thomas Gaiser (tgaiser@uni-bonn.de)

MSc. Jasper Mohr (j.mohr@uni-bonn.de)

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