Location: Hydrology and Remote Sensing Laboratory
Project Number: 8042-13610-028-62-I
Project Type: Interagency Reimbursable Agreement
Start Date: Jul 30, 2013
End Date: Jul 31, 2015
Satellite-based Climate Data Records are critical for monitoring and assessing trends in geophysical processes that can be impacted by climate change; however, satellite sensors are replaced on a periodic basis of 5-10 years. These changes require the transition of algorithms and isolating any potential sensor contributions to observed changes; however, satellite sensors are replaced periodically every 5 to 10 years. When sensors are replaced, algorithms must be modified to accommodate changes in the new sensor response characteristics. The objective of this project is to transition existing soil moisture retrieval algorithms from the previous Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer (AMSR) to a new sensor that will be launched in 2012. The soil moisture product is currently used in several agricultural hydrology and climate applications and the continuity of the product and establishing a soil moisture Climate Data Record will support these important applications.
The current standard soil moisture algorithm will be adapted to operate using the new Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer data. Before conducting an in depth examination of the soil moisture product we will evaluate the quality of the sensor data relevant to the soil moisture by comparing brightness temperature statistics and time series of the two instruments over well-characterized and/or modeled sites. Following this, the soil moisture products from the new instrument will be compared to its predecessor. Well characterized in situ sites available to us as part of other investigations will be used to validate the performance of both sensor soil moisture records. Alternative algorithms that exploit new sensor features will be explored. The resulting algorithm and products will be monitored and maintained over the project life of five years. This project deals with soil moisture which is one element in a team proposal covering all products supported by the satellite. These products will be used directly in agricultural hydrology and will support weather and climate forecast modeling.