COSMOS-UK was established in 2013 and is still developing in terms of the number of stations deployed and services offered to users. Our ambition is to expand our network and to enhance the information services provided. Please come back to our website to learn about changes and improvements.

The primary purpose of the COSMOS-UK project is to deliver soil moisture data in near-real time from a network of stations installed across the UK. The innovation provided by COSMOS-UK comes from the use of a sensor that exploits cosmic-rays to measure soil moisture over an area of about 12 hectares (about 30 acres). The sensor sits above ground and operates automatically to deliver data from remote sites. This contrasts with other sensors that are intrusive, effectively point-scale, or require an on-site operator.

It is anticipated that publically accessible real-time data will empower all kinds of applied environmental research: more accurate meteorological models; better water resource information of current and future conditions; increased resilience to natural hazards, for example by earlier flood warnings; improved water use efficiency in crop production; and giving better crop yield forecasts. It will enable a step change in fundamental science, particularly meteorological predictability associated with soil moisture, and better models of greenhouse gas emissions from soils. COSMOS-UK will open up other environmental science areas where UK soil moisture data has not been available before, such as applications in ecosystem services.

The use of new technology is exciting and potentially rewarding but not without its challenges. There is research to do in interpreting the measurements obtained from the COSMOS-UK stations, e.g. adjusting raw measurements to give a reliable value of soil moisture, and relating to measurements derived from other techniques.

The COSMOS-UK project team welcomes your feedback on all aspects of the project and its website. Please use the Contact Us link below or email



Website last reviewed: September 2021

Next review due: September 2022