7th International COSMOS Workshop

at Hillsborough, Northern Ireland

24-26 September 2024





Dear colleagues


On 24–26 September 2024, the 7th International COSMOS Workshop will take place at Royal Hillsborough, a historic town just outside Belfast in Northern Ireland. The event will be a platform for young scientists and international experts in the area of soil moisture observation research to come together and share knowledge, experience and expertise.


Photo: Hillsborough Castle & Gardens, in the historic town of Hillsborough.


The workshop will be hosted by the Agri-Food & Biosciences Institute (AFBI) which is also the site of a COsmic-ray Soil Moisture Observing System UK (COSMOS-UK) station since 2016. This station is part of the newly established ISMON (Irish Soil Moisture Observation Network), one of the first networks in the world to be operated by a national meteorological service (Met Éireann).

The cosmic-ray neutron sensing technique, which has evolved over the past decade, has catalyzed a paradigm shift in soil water content measurement. Rapid adoption by the scientific community was in-part facilitated by implementation of national COSMOS, in the USA, Germany, Australia, and the UK. As a result of the significant progress made over the past decade, we are poised to transition "From Research to Operations."


THEME: “From Research to Operations”


As understanding of COSMOS continues to improve, research applications of this technology are sufficiently mature to enable us to make the leap from research to operations and allow us to address key societal challenges and opportunities.

We believe this is the right time to gather again, as a community, to share progress and knowledge, and celebrate the successes of applications using the technology for the 7th International COSMOS Workshop.

Ongoing initiatives show the potential for operational use in the future due to the attractive non-contact field-scale (~12 ha) footprint of the COSMOS soil moisture product, which is difficult and inconvenient to achieve with traditional buried point measurements, and has previously limited our understanding of how the soil’s inherent heterogeneity influences environmental processes.

We are very grateful to AFBI for hosting this workshop at Royal Hillsborough. We are also grateful to the University of Bristol, the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research GmbH, and the UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology for support in organizing this workshop. The University of Bristol, with others, are also developing operational systems for irrigation management and leading efforts to establish a community-driven Global COSMOS observational platform, all vital for  improved water use efficiency in agriculture and natural lands in a changing climate.


Save the date and join us at COSMOS7 in September, we are looking forward to seeing you!




The COSMOS7 organizers


For your calendar:

Previous COSMOS workshops: