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* Corresponding author 1 CESBIO - Centre d-études spatiales de la biosphère 2 ESTER - LATMOS LATMOS - Laboratoire Atmosphères, Milieux, Observations Spatiales 3 EPHYSE 4 ESTEC - European Space Research and Technology Centre 5 LOCEAN - Laboratoire d-Océanographie et du Climat : Expérimentations et Approches Numériques 6 isardSAT 7 ICM - Institute of Marine Sciences - Institut de Ciències del Mar Barcelona 8 IFREMER - IFREMER 9 ESRIN - European State Research Institute

Abstract : It is now well understood that data on soil moisture and sea surface salinity SSS are required to improve meteorological and climate predictions. These two quantities are not yet available globally or with adequate temporal or spatial sampling. It is recognized that a spaceborne L-band radiometer with a suitable antenna is the most promising way of fulfilling this gap. With these scientific objectives and technical solution at the heart of a proposed mission concept the European Space Agency ESA selected the Soil Moisture and Ocean Salinity SMOS mission as its second Earth Explorer Opportunity Mission. The development of the SMOS mission was led by ESA in collaboration with the Centre National d-Etudes Spatiales CNES in France and the Centro para el Desarrollo Tecnologico Industrial CDTI in Spain. SMOS carries a single payload, an L-Band 2-D interferometric radiometer operating in the 1400–1427-MHz protected band 1. The instrument receives the radiation emitted from Earth-s surface, which can then be related to the moisture content in the first few centimeters of soil over land, and to salinity in the surface waters of the oceans. SMOS will achieve an unprecedented maximum spatial resolution of 50 km at L-band over land 43 km on average over the field of view, providing multiangular dual polarized or fully polarized brightness temperatures over the globe. SMOS has a revisit time of less than 3 days so as to retrieve soil moisture and ocean salinity data, meeting the mission-s science objectives. The caveat in relation to its sampling requirements is that SMOS will have a somewhat reduced sensitivity when compared to conventional radiometers. The SMOS satellite was launched successfully on November 2, 2009.

Keywords : L-band sea surface salinity SSS Interferometry Soil Moisture and Ocean Salinity SMOS vegetation water content soil moisture

Autor: Yann Kerr - Philippe Waldteufel - Jean-Pierre Wigneron - S. Delwart - François Cabot - Jacqueline Boutin - M. J. Escorihuela - J



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