In the field, the SIS utilizes two main methods for gathering data:
Surfer: using an ATV to traverse nearly the entire surface of the surveyed area, sensors are run over the top of the soil to gather detailed environmental data including electromagnetic conductivity and topographic information. Data collected from the surfer provide a high-resolution representation of soil variability that informs the next step of data collection.
Diver: Subsurface data collection targets are selected based on the information gathered with Surfer. The Diver sends a probe with multiple sensors into the soil to collect data to derive soil properties including horizon depth, compaction, soil texture characteristics, and moisture holding capacity.
The Surfer and the Diver each record the sensor and GPS data digitally on a field computer, which displays their position, field boundary and other navigation aids.
Smart Data Filtering techniques ensure data quality and that enough field observations have been taken to create accurate soil maps. These checks eliminate costly return trips to remap a site, if there are problems with the data.
After SIS data has been collected, it is processed with a series of technical algorithms specially developed to provide a level of detailed soil information unmatched by any other method. The resulting data sets are precise 3D soil models for over 60 soil physical and chemical characteristics, including the following:
SIS software provides a range of outputs varying in complexity. These may include print or web maps, GIS files, direct inputs for variable rate controllers, as well as custom model outputs. These output offer users information on available water, soil texture, nutrient holding capacity, nutrient distribution, and can be manipulated to demonstrate differential rates of fertilizer and amendment applications. As well, C3 is able to generate customized outputs that are tailor-fit to meet the particular needs of a block, field or orchard.
With SIS outputs users can easily comprehend complex changes in soil properties as they vary through space and time.