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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Beltsville, Maryland (BARC) » Beltsville Agricultural Research Center » Hydrology and Remote Sensing Laboratory » Research » Research Project #429015

Research Project: Soil Moisture Active/Passive Calibration/Validation Team

Location: Hydrology and Remote Sensing Laboratory

Project Number: 8042-13610-029-005-I
Project Type: Interagency Reimbursable Agreement

Start Date: May 18, 2015
End Date: Dec 31, 2019

The specific goal of this agreement is the evaluation of the soil moisture products that will be provided by the Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) satellite over its mission life using in situ and other resources developed by the ARS team. The calibration/validation program is designed to assess and improve the quality and reliability of the products to users, which includes several USDA agency applications. Project support will facilitate the integration of USDA ARS and the project team located at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. A key component of the calibration/validation program is the use of in situ observing network data. This data comes from a wide range of sources and require intensive evaluation. In almost all cases, these validation sites were established prior to the satellite in order to address other research or applications objectives. As a result the design and location of the site and the individual points it will not necessarily be optimal for the satellite product validation. A specific problem is the fact that satellite products are provided based on an established and fixed Earth grid. Improving the match-up of the products and validation resources is a focus of this work.

An in situ calibration and validation team will be established that consists of scientists and support personnel from USDA ARS (Hydrology and Remote Sensing Lab) and the NASA Jet Propulsion Lab. ARS will lead this team and coordinate activities at both locations. It is critical to the success of this project that ARS can interface with both groups. USDA ARS will also support the development and implementation of a validation grid processor. It is critical that the SMAP validation grid processing utilize the same algorithms and software as that used to produce the SMAP standard data products.