Submitted to: International Geoscience and Remote Sensing Symposium Proceedings
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/17/2009
Publication Date: 7/12/2009
Citation: Jackson, T.J., Cosh, M.H., Bindlish, R., Dinardo, S., Yuch, S., Laymon, C., O'Neill, P., Piepmeier, J., Rincon, R. 2009. SMAPVEX08: Soil Moisture Active Passive Validation Experiment 2008. In: International Geoscience and Remote Sensing Symposium Proceedings, July 12-17, 2010, Cape Town, South Africa. 2009 CDROM. Interpretive Summary:
Technical Abstract: The Soil Moisture Active Passive Mission (SMAP) is currently addressing issues related to the development and selection of retrieval algorithms as well as refining the mission design and instruments. Some of these issues require resolution as soon as possible. Several forums had identified specific questions that required supporting field experiments. The SMAP Validation Experiment 2008 (SMAPVEX08) was designed and conducted to address some of these issues. Experiments incorporated into SMAPVEX08 included evaluation of how well new alternative radio frequency interference (RFI) suppression techniques under consideration for SMAP work over RFI contaminated land areas, providing more robust sets of concurrent passive and active L-band observational data including temporal change for algorithm development and validation, evaluating the impact of azimuthal orientation on alternative radar retrieval algorithms, understanding the scaling of high resolution synthetic aperture radar (SAR) to lower resolution radar data of SMAP, and a more thorough evaluation of less studied land covers such as urban and forest. A series of aircraft-based flights was conducted on the Eastern Shore of Maryland and Delaware in the fall of 2008. Two aircraft (a Twin Otter and a P-3B) carrying prototypes of the SMAP instrumentation (combined active and passive microwave) were flown concurrent with ground sampling. A ground based active-passive instrument (Comrad) was also deployed for the campaign. SMAPVEX08 began following an extended rainfall event that was followed a few days later by another large event. Following this there was no rainfall, however, cloud cover and cool temperatures resulted in a relatively slow but consistent drydown. A series of seven aircraft flights was conducted over ten days that tracked this drying. A review of the preliminary radiometer data from PALS reflected the geophysical features and meteorological trends. The resulting data set will be a valuable addition to the few active-passive data sets that exist.