Soil Moisture and Ocean Salinity
Mission: To observe soil moisture over the Earth's landmasses and the salinity over the oceans.
Soil moisture data are urgently required for hydrological studies and ocean salinity data are vital for improving our understanding of ocean circulation patterns.
The new radiometer will be demonstrated on the mission. In addition, the data acquired will advance our knowledge of the Earth's water cycle. Also, the data will lead to better weather and extreme-event forecasting, and contribute to seasonal-climate forecasting.
As a secondary objective, SMOS will also provide observations over regions of snow and ice, contributing to studies of the cryosphere.
Launch: 2 November 2009
DTU Space's involvement: DTU Space has developed the first polar-orbiting, space-borne, 2-D interferometric radiometer that is capable of observing both soil moisture and ocean salinity by capturing images of emitted microwave radiation around the frequency of 1.4 GHz (L-band).