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Title: PALS Observations during the SMAPVEX08 Experiment

item BINDLISH, R - Science Systems, Inc
item Jackson, Thomas
item YUEH, S - Jet Propulsion Laboratory
item DINARDO, S - Jet Propulsion Laboratory

Submitted to: American Geophysical Union
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/15/2009
Publication Date: 12/14/2009
Citation: Bindlish, R., Jackson, T.J., Yueh, S., Dinardo, S. 2009. PALS observations during the SMAPVEX08 Experiment [abstract]. American Geophysical Union. 90(52).

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: The Soil Moisture Active Passive Mission (SMAP) is currently addressing issues related to the development and selection of soil moisture retrieval algorithms. A series of aircraft-based flights (SMAP Validation Experiment 2008-SMAPVEX08) was conducted on the Eastern Shore of Maryland and Delaware over a two week period. The objectives of SMAPVEX08 included: (1) development and evaluation of new radio frequency interference (RFI) suppression techniques under consideration for SMAP, (2) providing more robust sets of concurrent passive and active L-band observational data, (3) evaluating the impact of azimuthal orientation on alternative radar retrieval algorithms, and (4) understanding the scaling of high resolution synthetic aperture radar (SAR) to the lower resolution of SMAP. SMAPVEX08 was preceded by an extended precipitation event that resulted in moist conditions. Cloud cover and cooler fall temperatures resulted in a relatively slow but consistent drydown. A series of seven aircraft flights was conducted over two weeks that tracked this drydown. PALS observations provide a valuable active-passive data set for the development of passive and active L-band soil moisture estimates over heterogeneous land surface conditions. The brightness temperature images are consistent with observed land surface conditions. Over the forested areas L-band brightness temperatures show little variability during the duration of the experiment. Extensive ground observations were made concurrent with airborne observations. The standard error of estimate over the Choptank watershed using only the radiometer observations was 0.039 m3/m3. Soil moisture algorithm using PALS radar observations is currently being developed. Soil moisture retrieval results using passive and active PALS observations from the SMAPVEX08 experiment will be presented.