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SMOS offers new perspective on hurricanes

25 September 2018

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With recent stories in the news about the devastation brought by hurricanes and typhoons to the US and Asia, we are reminded of how important it is to predict the paths of these mighty storms and also learn more about how they develop. Many satellites have eyes on storms, but ESA's SMOS mission can offer an entirely new perspective.

Tracking and forecasting hurricanes across the ocean brings obvious benefits to those at sea and to those who live in places where they make landfall. While forecasters have excellent tools to hand to make these predictions, ESA's Soil Moisture and Ocean Salinity (SMOS) mission is now ready to add valuable information to help make these predictions even more accurate.

SMOS was built for scientific research, mainly into Earth's water cycle. The satellite carries a novel microwave sensor to capture images of ‘brightness temperature'. These images correspond to radiation emitted from Earth's surface, which are then used to collect information on soil moisture and ocean salinity.

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