Minimize What is SMOS?
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ESA's Soil Moisture Ocean Salinity (SMOS) Earth Explorer mission is a radio telescope in orbit, but pointing back to Earth not space. It's Microwave Imaging Radiometer using Aperture Synthesis (MIRAS) radiometer picks up faint microwave emissions from Earth's surface to map levels of land soil moisture and ocean salinity.

These are the key geophysical parameters, soil moisture for hydrology studies and salinity for enhanced understanding of ocean circulation, both vital for climate change models.

Minimize Latest Mission Operations News

SMOS level 2 sea surface salinity products v662 released to users

15 May 2017

ESA would like to inform that SMOS level 2 sea surface salinity products version v662 are now available to the users.

SMOS Nominal Production resumed on 12 May 2017

12 May 2017

As planned, the SMOS Nominal Production has been resumed in the morning of 12 May 2017, after the operational deployment of the new L2OS v662 processor.

SMOS Nominal Production will be stopped on 10 May 2017 at 07:00 UTC for L2OS v662 processor operational deployment

10 May 2017

Due to the operational deployment of the new L2OS v662 processor, SMOS Level-1 and Level-2 Nominal Production will be stopped on Wednesday, 10 May 2017 at 07:00 UTC.

Minimize Latest Mission Results News
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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.

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Satellite cousins have ice covered

16 December 2016

Although not designed to deliver information on ice, ESA's Earth Explorer SMOS satellite can detect thin sea-ice. Since its cousin, CryoSat, is better at measuring thicker ice scientists have found a way of using these missions together to yield an even clearer picture of the changing Arctic.

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Space agencies combine efforts for space hydrology

11 November 2016

Heads of space agencies are meeting today in Marrakesh, Morocco at the COP22 climate change summit to reaffirm their commitment to a coordinated approach for monitoring Earth's climate, with particular focus on the water cycle.

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SMOS on speed

14 October 2016

While ESA's water mission was built to advance our understanding of Earth, it continues to show how well it's suited to delivering information for numerous applications that improve everyday life. Taking this a step further, soil moisture data products are now available within three hours of measurement, which is essential for many applications.