Radar for Bioenergy Crop Imaging

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OPEN 2015
College Station, Texas
Project Term:
04/13/2016 - 08/31/2019

Technology Description:

Texas A&M AgriLife Research will develop ground penetrating radar (GPR) antenna arrays for 3D root and soil organic carbon imaging and quantification. Visualization of root systems with one mm resolution in soils could enable breeders to select climate-resilient bioenergy crops that provide higher yields, require fewer inputs, improve soil health, and promote carbon sequestration. Texas A&M will create a GPR system that will collect real-time measurements using a deployable robotic platform. The GPR system will collect data comparing annual energy sorghum to perennial species, which have great potential to deposit and store carbon in the soil. Texas A&M’s primary focus is to complement the selection of high biomass feedstock crops by providing valuable data about the root architecture. This data could improve understanding of the soil ecosystem and ultimately allow for improved bioenergy crop productivity.

Potential Impact:

If successful, Texas A&M AgriLife Research will advance GPR technology, improving bioenergy feedstock crop production and ulitmately reducing CO2 emissions by generating biofuels.


Texas A&M’s advances could help improve domestic biofuel production, which would ultimately diversify the resources we rely on for transportation, thus further reducing dependence upon imported crude oil.


This project will help understand and improve soil quality, helping maintain or expand arable land.


Further development of GPR technologies could help create domestic jobs in imaging and biofuel production.


ARPA-E Program Director:
Dr. Rachel Slaybaugh
Project Contact:
Dr. Dirk Hays
Press and General Inquiries Email:
Project Contact Email:


IDS North America
Texas A&M University
Geophysical Archaeometry Laboratory

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