Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: May 25, 2010
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: The Soil Moisture Ocean Salinity (SMOS) satellite was launched by the European Space Agency in November 2009. It utilizes a new antenna technology to achieve 40 km global soil moisture with an L-band radiometer. A robust validation of the mission products is critical in both the early phases of the mission as well as throughout the satellite’s life. Validation is a particularly challenging task for passive microwave remote sensing of soil moisture from Earth orbit. The key issue is spatial scale; conventional measurements of soil moisture are made at a point whereas satellite sensors provide an integrated area/volume value for a much larger spatial extent. Another important aspect of a successful validation for a global product is diverse conditions. Our approach to validation of SMOS is based upon long-term in situ observing networks. It combines a limited number of dense networks that cover areas approximately the size of the SMOS footprints with more numerous point observations distributed throughout the U.S. Previous and ongoing efforts have focused on verifying the in situ data. SMOS products will be compared to the in situ data and an alternative satellite product.