The SMOS (Soil Moisture Ocean Salinity), mission is a direct response to the current lack of global observations of soil moisture and ocean salinity which is needed to further our knowledge of the water cycle, and to contribute to better weather and extreme-event forecasting and seasonal-climate forecasting.
SMOS, an ESA Earth Explorer mission, is a radio telescope in orbit, but pointing back to Earth not space. Its Microwave Imaging Radiometer using Aperture Synthesis (MIRAS) radiometer picks up faint microwave emissions from Earth's surface within the L-band (1.4 GHz) 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.
SMOS carries the first-ever, polar-orbiting, space-borne, 2-D interferometric radiometer measuring in L-Band: the MIRAS (Microwave Imaging Radiometer using Aperture Synthesis) instrument.
For further detailed information on the SMOS instrument please see here.
The principal objective of the SMOS mission is to provide maps of soil moisture and ocean salinity of specified accuracy, sensitivity, spatial resolution, spatial coverage and temporal coverage. In addition, the mission is expected to provide useful data for cryosphere studies.
Data and Processors