Minimize PhD - Multi and hyperspectral PRISMA remote sensing data for retrieving crop biophysical variables and topsoil properties in agricultural fields

Date added: 23 July 2019

Organization:  University of Tuscia and CNR Institute of Methodologies for Environmental Analysis

Location: Rome, Italy

Project description:

The goal of the research that will be carried out by the candidate is the use of models for retrieving crop biophysical variables and topsoil properties from optical satellite data: PRISMA (the Italian hyperspectral satellite mission, recently launched by the Italian Space Agency ASI) and Sentinel-2 (Copernicus) by the:

  • inversion of radiative transfer models (e.g., PROSAIL and SCOPE) by applying spectral indices or machine learning regression or LUT-based algorithms to derive crop pigments concentration and bio-physical properties.
  • retrieval of topsoil properties (soil texture and soil organi carbon content) will be explored by multivariate regression and machine learning algorithms.

The work will be carried out within the ARS01_00405 "Innovative OT technologies for the study of the climate change impacts of on the environment", moreover international cooperation activities are expected during the PhD.

The PhD is 3 years long.

Eligibility and desired competences:

  • Master level degree in Engineering (IT, telecommunications, etc.), Mathematics, Physics, Computer Sciences, Statistics, Geosciences, Environmental Sciences, Agricultural Sciences or similar
  • Master thesis work on remote sensing
  • Good coding skills in Matlab or Python and/or IDL
  • Good Knowledge of R
  • Expertise in the use and processing of satellite remote sensing data. Documented experience in PROSAIL, ML and PLSR techniques will be preferred
  • Fluency in English
  • Adaptation capability, flexibility, willingness to travel

Selection process:

The interested candidates should get in touch as soon as possible with Dr. Stefano Pignatti ( or Prof. Raffaele Casa (, by sending a CV and the names of 2 reference persons, in order to arrange a informal Skype call, during which further details of the application process will be given.
The application should be subsequently finalized (by the end of August) by submission of documents according to the Call for PhD applications published by the University of Tuscia (as it will be explained during the Skype call)

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