Location: Hydrology and Remote Sensing Laboratory
2013 Annual Report
This objective is addressed through five separate tasks: 1. Maintain the consistent operational delivery of soil moisture products in near real-time (defined here as within 5 days) to USDA FAS; 2. Develop a contingency capacity for the generation and (near real-time) delivery of surface soil moisture retrieval products from alternative satellites data sources; 3. Prototype the existing USDA FAS global soil moisture modeling system using the NASA Land Information System (LIS) modeling framework; 4. Within NASA LIS develop a prototype data assimilation system to fully integrate future Soil Moisture Active/Passive (SMAP) soil moisture retrievals into the USDA FAS system; and 5. Benchmarking of modification to decision support made in response to product. The overarching goal of the project is to provide USDA FAS with an improved global root-zone soil moisture product. Operational delivery of soil moisture products to USDA FAS (addressing Task #1 above) was interrupted by the October 2011 failure of the Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer-Earth Observing System (AMSR-E) sensor aboard the NASA Aqua satellite. Following this failure, the project fell back on the contingency plan to use soil moisture retrievals acquired from the European Space Agency (ESA) Soil Moisture and Ocean Salinity (SMOS) mission. Nevertheless, Tasks 1 to 4 have been completed on schedule. Substantial progress has been made on Task 5 which should allow the project to clearly benchmark added utility for USDA FAS operational forecasting by Fall 2013.