Acquisition and processing software for an airborne soil moisture mapper LBand radiometer
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The improvement in weather forecast and climate motorization, to prevent for example natural disasters, requires global scale knowledge of the soil moisture (SM) and the surface salinity (SSS), which are non-existent at present due to the difficulty to carry out in-situ measurements. These parameters influence the heat exchange among land, sea and air. On one hand, thanks to the SM, the amount of water on Earth and the exchange of energy between the land’s surface and the atmosphere can be known. On the other hand, the knowledge of the distribution of the SSS will inform about sea currents and differences between evaporation and precipitation. The quantification of these parameters will contribute to improve the weather forecasts, hydrological studies, vegetation motorization, and risk of forest fires. As part of the program “The living planet programme: Earth Explorer Opportunity Missions”, the European Space Agency (ESA) selected in 1999 the Soil Moisture and Ocean Salinity (SMOS) mission, designed to observe soil moisture over land and salinity over the oceans. It was launched in 2009 and has put in orbit the first microwave imaging radiometer using aperture synthesis. Over the sea, sea surface salinity will be remotely measured by means of L-band (1400-1427 MHz) microwave radiometry. As the brightness temperature also depends on the sea surface temperature and on the sea state, post-processing corrections are needed to get the surface salinity. Over land, soil moisture is retrieved from the changes in the L-band brightness temperature, although post processing correction for surface roughness and vegetation are also required.
Treball confidencial fins el 19/07/2015