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

New SMOS Level 3 salinity products available

26 May 2017

New salinity products are available at CATDS (Centre Aval de Traitement des Données SMOS).

A new correction for systematic errors (land-sea and seasonal-latitudinal) has been implemented in CATDS CPDC and in CATDS CEC LOCEAN.

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.

Minimize Latest Mission Results News
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Satellites forewarn of locust plagues

13 June 2017

Satellites are helping to predict favourable conditions for desert locusts to swarm, which poses a threat to agricultural production and, subsequently, livelihoods and food security.

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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.