Wednesday, 25 January 2012: 8:30 AM
SMOS Application in Hydrometeorology [INVITED]
Room 350/351 (New Orleans Convention Center )
SMOS, a L Band radiometer using aperture synthesis to achieve a good spatial resolution, was successfully launched on November 2, 2009. It was developed and made under the leadership of the European Space Agency (ESA) as an Earth Explorer Opportunity mission. It is a joint program with the Centre National d'Etudes Spatiales (CNES) in France and the Centro para el Desarrollo Teccnologico Industrial (CDTI) in Spain. SMOS carries a single payload, an L band 2D interferometric,radiometer in the 1400-1427 MHz h protected band. This wavelength penetrates well through the vegetation and the atmosphere is almost transparent enabling to infer both soil moisture and vegetation water content. SMOS achieves an unprecedented spatial resolution of 50 km at L-band maximum (43 km on average) with multi angular-dual polarized (or fully polarized) brightness temperatures over the globe and with a revisit time smaller than 3 days. SMOS as been now acquiring data for almost 2 years. The data quality exceeds what was expected, showing very good sensitivity and stability. The data is however very much impaired by man made emission in the protected band, leading to degraded measurements in several areas including parts of Europe and of China. However, many different international teams are now addressing cal val activities in various parts of the world, with notably large field campaigns either on the long time scale or over specific targets to address the specific issues. In parallel different teams are now starting addressing data use in various fields including hydrology. It requires coupling with other models and or disaggregation to address soil moisture distribution over watersheds. Significant new results were obtained for floodss and drought events, togteher with new potential applications in terms of recipitation monitoring This paper thus gives an overview of the science goals of the SMOS mission, a description of its main elements, and a taste of the first results including performances at brightness temperature as well as at geophysical parameters and how they are being put in good use for hydrological applications.