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Drought is a recurring disastrous
phenomenon that has affected the life on earth since the beginning of
civilization. The factors causing the drought vary from region to region and
its impact can be seen on every aspect of environment from natural habitats,
agriculture, ecosystem, urban water supply, many economic and social sectors to
modern sophisticated industries etc. Thus, it was not easy for the scientists
to propose a single universally accepted definition for the drought. Numerous
indices were developed for the agricultural drought detection and monitoring
based on the factors such as rainfall, soil moisture content,
evapotranspiration (Karl 1983, Mo 2008, Sheffield and Wood 2008, Anderson et
al. 2011, Hao and AghaKouchak 2012). Every index has its limitations and hence
none of the index can be considered greater to others, and the usage of any
particular index depends on the application.The SWIR bands has got minimum
amount of atmospheric disturbance or noise and distinguished ability to
separate different ground materials there by helping in feature extraction more
eminently and saves more time and money for fast decision making. The most
important applications of these bands include wildfire response due to the
capability to penetrate smoke and demarcate the active burning spots, agricultural
management by assessing the crop stress by the reflectance of different
pigments in the leaves along with crop moisture estimation and also helps in
mapping and quantifying the crop residue left which will help in predicting the
quality of the soil, detecting indicator minerals for the mining industry etc.

With regard to the spectral reflectance
differences of moisture absorption properties, various drought indices using the
backscatter energy from near-infrared (NIR) and shortwave infrared (SWIR)
channels have been formulated for estimating vegetation water content using satellite
remote sensing, namely . As moisture content in the vegetation as well as in
the soil is very important for the agricultural drought assessment, a new
drought index NMDI, has been utilized for the estimation of vegetation moisture
and soil moisture content from space. By integrating the reflectance data from
multiple NIR, and SWIR channels, this newly designed drought index has enhanced
the sensitivity to drought severity. 

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