ERS-1/2 SCATTEROMETER Ocean Wind field and Sea Ice probability [ASPS20.H/ASPS20.N]

How to Access Data

The data is distributed in NetCDF format via FTP upon completing an Access Request

See ERS-WS Product availability table

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Surface soil moisture records are derived from the backscatter coefficient measured by the Scatterometer on-board the European Remote Sensing satellite (ERS-2) using the Technische Universität (TU) Wien soil moisture retrieval algorithm called WARP (WAter Retrieval Package).

In the WARP algorithm, the relative surface soil moisture estimates, given in degree of saturation Sd, range between 0% and 100% are derived by scaling the normalized backscatter between the lowest/highest backscatter values corresponding to the driest/wettest soil conditions.

Surface Soil Moisture - Time Series product:

The products generated are the surface soil moisture time series, where for each grid point defined in a DGG (Discrete Global Grid) is stored the time series of soil moisture and its noise, the surface state flag, the geolocation and the satellite parameters.

The spatial resolution of the products is about 25 km x 25 km (high resolution) or 50 km x 50 km (nominal resolution) geo-referenced on the WARP grid. The location of the points can be viewed interactively with the tool DGG Point Locator.

Surface Soil Moisture - Orbit product:

In addition to WARP, a second software package, referred to as WARP orbit, was developed in response to the strong demand of soil moisture estimates in satellite orbit geometry.

The Level 2 soil moisture orbit product contains a series of Level 1 data information, such as the backscatter, the incidence angle and the azimuth angle for each triplet together with the surface soil moisture and its noise, normalized backscatter at 40° incidence angle, parameters useful for soil moisture, the geolocation and the satellite parameters. The soil moisture orbit product is available in two spatial resolutions with different spatial sampling distances:

  • Spatial sampling on a regular 12.5 km grid in orbit geometry with a spatial resolution of about 25 km x 25 km (high resolution)
  • Spatial sampling on a regular 25 km grid in orbit geometry with a spatial resolution of about 50 km x 50 km (nominal resolution)

The spatial resolution is defined by the Hamming window function, which is used for re-sample of raw backscatter measurements to the orbit grid in the Level-1 ground processor.

Please consult the Product Quality Readme file before using the ERS-2 Surface Soil Moisture data.



Spatial coverage: 
82 N, -82 S, -180 W, 180 E
Temporal coverage:
1991-08-01 - 2011-07-04
Date of launch:
1995-04-21, 1991-07-17
Mission status:
Orbit height:
782 to 785 km
Orbit type:
Swath width:
5 km
Current Processor Version:
ASPS 10.04


level 2


Utilisation of this data is subject to ESA's Earth Observation Terms and Conditions



Documentation related to SCATTEROMETER data
Product Specifications
SCATTEROMETER Quality Information
Product Specifications
Product Specifications
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