SMOS brings Mediterranean salinity into focus
11 May 2017
ESA's SMOS mission maps variations in soil moisture and salt in the surface waters of the open oceans. When the satellite was designed, it was not envisaged that it would be able to measure salinity in smaller seas like the Mediterranean, but SMOS has again surpassed expectations.
The satellite carries a microwave instrument to capture images of ‘brightness temperature', which correspond to microwave radiation emitted from Earth's surface and can be related to soil moisture and ocean salinity.While this information is fulfilling the mission's core objective of improving our understanding of Earth's water cycle, SMOS has found a multitude of other uses such as tracking hurricanes, measuring thin ice floating in the polar oceans and improving crop-yield forecasts.
Top story on Copernicus
06 July 2017
With the Copernicus Sentinel-3A satellite fully fledged and its data freely available, the task of monitoring and understanding our changing planet has been made that much easier. Seeing the effect spring has on our plant life is just one of its many uses.
Launched in February 2016 and carrying a suite of instruments, Sentinel-3 is the most complex of all the Sentinel missions.
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