2.2 Opportunities for Research to Operations interface with the Soil Moisture Active Passive Mission (SMAP)

Thursday, 27 January 2011: 11:15 AM
602/603 (Washington State Convention Center)
J. Entin, NASA Headquarters, Washington, DC

The Soil Moisture Active Passive mission (SMAP) is one of the first-tier satellite projects recommended by the U.S. National Research Council Committee on Earth Science and Applications from Space. Currently under development at NASA, SMAP is scheduled for launch in 2014. The satellite is designed to employ both an L-band (1.26 GHz) radar and L-band (1.41 GHz) radiometer to return high-resolution and accurate global information of soil moisture and its freeze/thaw state. The project's science goals are to address several topics in water, energy, and carbon-cycle science. Towards the operational realm SMAP will provide capabilities to improve a diversity of applications (involving environmental resource management and policy decision making). Although the satellite will not have direct broad cast, some data products might be available in less than twelve hour for a majority of the period. Higher level products of soil moisture state could be used by numerous water management communities involving floods, drought, or agricultural management. Although outside the current domain of the project, use of L-band radar may provide useful information for sea-ice detection in the northern latitudes and/or high wind detection over oceans. With four years until the SMAP launch there is time to investigate the applicability of “extra-topical” avenues for interchange with the operational community. The SMAP Algorithm Testbed simulator should be able to contribute to these endeavors. Also, synergies with the currently operational SMOS satellite and the soon to launched Aquarius satellite, both with L-band data returns, will provide important early examples to test potential applicability of SMAP data in operational domains.
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