The Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) Mission

Dara Entekhabi, Eni G. Njoku, Peggy E. O'Neill, Kent H. Kellogg, Wade T. Crow, Wendy N. Edelstein, Jared K. Entin, Shawn D. Goodman, Thomas J. Jackson, Joel Johnson, John Kimball, Jeffrey R. Piepmeier (+11 others)
2010 Proceedings of the IEEE  
The Soil Moisture Active and Passive (SMAP) Mission is one of the first Earth observation satellites being developed by NASA in response to the National Research Council's Decadal Survey. SMAP will make global measurements of the moisture present at Earth's land surface and will distinguish frozen from thawed land surfaces. Direct observations of soil moisture and freeze/thaw state from space will allow significantly improved estimates of water, energy and carbon transfers between land and
more » ... phere. Soil moisture measurements are also of great importance in assessing flooding and monitoring drought. SMAP observations can help mitigate these natural hazards, resulting in potentially great economic and social benefits. SMAP soil moisture and freeze/thaw timing observations will also reduce a major uncertainty in quantifying the global carbon balance by helping to resolve an apparent missing carbon sink on land over the boreal latitudes. The SMAP mission concept would utilize an L-band radar and radiometer. These instruments will share a rotating 6-meter mesh reflector antenna to provide high-resolution and high-accuracy global maps of soil moisture and freeze/thaw state every two to three days. The SMAP instruments provide direct measurements of surface conditions. In addition, the SMAP project will use these observations with advanced modeling and data assimilation to provide deeper root-zone soil moisture and estimates of land surface-atmosphere exchanges of water, energy and carbon. SMAP is scheduled for a 2014 launch date
doi:10.1109/jproc.2010.2043918 fatcat:robg6kw5ozffnfr5qivjbgvjom