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ESA's Soil Moisture and Ocean Salinity mission: From science to operational applications
Mecklenburg, S; Drusch, M; Kaleschke, L; Rodriguez-Fernandez, N; Reul, N; Kerr, Y; Font, J; Martin-Neira, M; Oliva, R; Daganzo-Eusebio, E; Grant, P; Sabia, R; Macelloni, G; Rautiainen, K; Fauste, J; de Rosnay, P; Munoz-Sabater, J; Verhoest, N.; Lievens, H.; Delwart, S; Crapolicchio, R; de la Fuente, A; Kornberg, M (2016). ESA's Soil Moisture and Ocean Salinity mission: From science to operational applications. Remote Sens. Environ. 180(Spec. Issue): 3-18.
In: Remote Sensing of Environment. Elsevier: New York,. ISSN 0034-4257; e-ISSN 1879-0704, more
Peer reviewed article  

Available in  Authors 

Author keywords
    Soil Moisture and Ocean Salinity (SMOS) mission; Sea surface salinity;Soil moisture; Sea ice thickness; Vegetation optical depth; Severe windtracking; Data assimilation; Hydrological forecasting; L-bandradiometry; Satellite remote sensing; Freeze and thaw

Authors  Top 
  • Mecklenburg, S
  • Drusch, M
  • Kaleschke, L
  • Rodriguez-Fernandez, N
  • Reul, N
  • Kerr, Y
  • Font, J
  • Martin-Neira, M
  • Oliva, R
  • Daganzo-Eusebio, E
  • Grant, P
  • Sabia, R
  • Macelloni, G
  • Rautiainen, K
  • Fauste, J
  • de Rosnay, P
  • Munoz-Sabater, J
  • Verhoest, N.
  • Lievens, H.
  • Delwart, S
  • Crapolicchio, R
  • de la Fuente, A
  • Kornberg, M

    The Soil Moisture and Ocean Salinity (SMOS) mission, launched in November 2009, is the European Space Agency's (ESA) second Earth Explorer Opportunity mission. The scientific objectives of the SMOS mission directly respond to the need for global observations of soil moisture and ocean salinity, two key variables used in predictive hydrological, oceanographic and atmospheric models. SMOS observations also provide information on vegetation, in particular plant available water and water content in a canopy, drought index and flood risks, surface ocean winds in storms, freeze/thaw state and sea ice and its effect on ocean-atmosphere heat fluxes and dynamics affecting large-scale processes of the Earth's climate system. Significant progress has been made over the course of the now 6-year life time of the SMOS mission in improving the ESA provided level 1 brightness temperature and level 2 soil moisture and sea surface salinity data products. The main emphasis of this paper is to review the status of the mission and provide an overview and performance assessment of SMOS data products, in particular with a view towards operational applications, and using SMOS products in data assimilation. SMOS is in excellent technical condition with no limiting factors for operations beyond 2017. The instrument performance fulfils the requirements. The radio-frequency interference (RFI) contamination originates from man-made emitters on ground, operating in the protected L-band and adding signal to the natural radiation emitted by the Earth. RFI has been detected worldwide and has been significantly reduced in Europe and the Americas but remains a constraint in Asia and the Middle East. The mission's scientific objectives have been reached over land and are approaching the mission objectives over ocean. This review paper aims to provide an introduction and synthesis to the papers published in this RSE special issue on SMOS.

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