Vahid Rahmani

Vahid Rahmani, Kansas State University assistant professor of biological and agricultural engineering.

MANHATTAN — Vahid Rahmani, assistant professor in the Carl and Melinda Helwig Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering at Kansas State University, has received a U.S. Department of Agriculture — Research Education and Economics grant to improve evapotranspiration and soil moisture information across the U.S.

Rahmani is the K-State lead on the nearly $500,000 three-year project with Steven Quiring, professor and the lead at Ohio State University. Operating under the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture program, the pair will partner in conducting research on “Leveraging Machine Learning to High-Resolution Soil Moisture and Evapotranspiration Data to Support Farm-Scale Decision Making.”

This project addresses the critical need to enhance accuracy and utility of national evapotranspiration and soil moisture products by integrating new data sources and downscaling them to farm-scale.

“We will apply state-of-the-art artificial intelligence and machine learning techniques using a wide range of observed and remote sensing information,” Rahmani said. “Our efforts will contribute to advancing algorithms used for estimating evapotranspiration and soil moisture with higher spatial and temporal resolution for the contiguous United States.”

The expected end result will be an operational cloud-based software system that will generate national-scale, daily gridded products using the latest available data.

“With its broad scope, this project will contribute to the recognition of research excellence at both K-State and the Carl R. Ice College of Engineering,” Rahmani said. “Undergraduate and graduate students will be trained with the latest techniques in tackling these critical engineering and agricultural issues.”

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