Soil Moisture Data Service

KISTERS and VanderSat partner to offer the first global cloud service for soil moisture data.


  • Patented Microwave Methodology
    Vandersat utilizes microwave sensing, the only area-wide technology for measuring soil moisture affordably and precisely comparable to air- or ground-based sensors. Unlike other satellite services, this technology can see through clouds and vegetation to capture high accuracy measurement data.

  • Advanced Tools for Data Analytics & Prediction
    KISTERS is known worldwide for the development of advanced water data software for data management, visualization and in-depth analysis as well as prediction. Much like its professional cloud service HydroMaster, a precipitation data service developed by KISTERS AG and MeteoGroup, the soil moisture data service is intended to help environmental protection agencies and utilities limit the impact of weather events on operations, assets and infrastructure.

  • Robust & Convenient Delivery
    Data are delivered via web browsers or directly in KISTERS Water Software, allowing subscribers to minimize operational and IT overhead costs. Users with can specify geographic areas and time periods to fit their budgets.

  • Certified Data Centre Security
    The flexible cloud service runs in KISTERS Data Centre, which has received TÜV certification based on ISO/IEC 27001 for the interdisciplinary process of developing cloud services as well as TÜV Trusted Site Infrastructure (TSI). Recurring audits ensure KISTERS continues to meet high standards.


  • Acquire Precise Satellite Soil Moisture Data
    Define specific catchment areas for uniquely high resolution, both spatially with a detail of 100 x 100 meters (approx. 0.6 x 0.6 miles, or 16 x 16 hectares) and temporally. Near surface data as deep as 5 cm is available.

  • View Near Real Time
    Receive general daily satellite-based soil moisture information for defined areas. Data are available within 6 hours after overpass of the satellite. Accessed via web browsers or directly in KISTERS Water Software, this new service presents insightful information in easy-to-understand graphics and maps, and in particularly great detail for even small catchment areas.

    In comparison, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada releases soil moisture map products on a weekly, bi-weekly, and monthly basis from a single satellite, the ESA's SMOS.

    NOAA's Climate Prediction Center produces topsoil moisture maps based on the USDA state reports and monitors soil moisture calculations, which are daily derived from the Leaky Bucket land surface hydrological model.

  • Put Data in Context with Historical Data
    With more than 60 years of academic remote sensing experience, VanderSat can make available up to 18 years of high resolution historical data. An additional 40 years of low-resolution historical data are also available.

  • Receive Practical Calculations based on the Most Reliable Data
    Customized alarms, data validation processes, and transformation of edited data into actionable information ensure subscribers receive the best quality information for defined areas. Derived data products include drought indices, anomalies and percentiles, as well as plant-available water at root level statistics and soil moisture outlooks / predictions.

  • Inform Decisions and Climate Change Plans
    The cloud service delivers weather information and forecasts to help local authorities, state and provincial governments, and utility companies better prepare for drought. Increasing frequency and spread of extended periods of low rainfall or snowfall are expected to continue. Soil moisture information can calibrate runoff models for flooding as well as optimize groundwater recharge or agricultural irrigation.

Additional Reading

auxiliary index of catchment wetness

The Office of Public Works, HydroLogic issued this flood studies update, a technical research report on physical catchment descriptors which includes an assessment of using Soil Moisture Deficit (SMD) as an additional empirical descriptor of climate.

screen capture of KISTERS VanderSat soil moisture information contrast resolution of KISTERS VanderSat soil moisture information and ESA CCI soil moisture data