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Conjoint use of NIR and XRF spectroscopy in the field


Proximal soil sensing techniques are an efficient and effective way to gather information about the soil in the field. They are used to identify and map the areal variations of soil properties across the landscape and therefore to make inferences about the quality of the soils.


Professor Alex McBratney.

Research location

Sydney Institute of Agriculture

Program type



While we can collect detailed soil information at limited locations and interpolate the values across space and time, in some instances it would be more beneficial if we can directly measure soil information at a fine spatial scale (e.g. measurement every 10 metres). Proximal soil sensing acquires information about soil through the use of sensors that are placed in proximity to the soil in situ, which is in contrast to remote sensing.   This project will investigate proximal soil sensors for rapid measurement of soil properties in the field, particularly the conjoint use of a portable XRF (X Ray Fluorescence), and Near Infrared Spectroscopy. These instruments offer us a growing range of soil data, thus they need to be integrated using a data fusion approach.  This will be investigated with a firm ground in statistical theory, and at the same time exploiting the power of the computer to search for structure in these large data sets. 

Additional information

HDR Inherent Requirements

In addition to the academic requirements set out in the Science Postgraduate Handbook, you may be required to satisfy a number of inherent requirements to complete this degree. Example of inherent requirement may include:

- Confidential disclosure and registration of a disability that may hinder your performance in your degree;
- Confidential disclosure of a pre-existing or current medical condition that may hinder your performance in your degree (e.g. heart disease, pace-maker, significant immune suppression, diabetes, vertigo, etc.);
- Ability to perform independently and/or with minimal supervision;
- Ability to undertake certain physical tasks (e.g. heavy lifting);
- Ability to undertake observatory, sensory and communication tasks;
- Ability to spend time at remote sites (e.g. One Tree Island, Narrabri and Camden);
- Ability to work in confined spaces or at heights;
- Ability to operate heavy machinery (e.g. farming equipment);
- Hold or acquire an Australian driver’s licence;
- Hold a current scuba diving license;
- Hold a current Working with Children Check;
- Meet initial and ongoing immunisation requirements (e.g. Q-Fever, Vaccinia virus, Hepatitis, etc.)

You must consult with your nominated supervisor regarding any identified inherent requirements before completing your application.

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Opportunity ID

The opportunity ID for this research opportunity is 1708

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