Near-Real-Time, Global Radar Data at the Alaska Satellite Facility DAAC from NASA’s SMAP Satellite

Thursday, 18 December 2014
Scott A Arko, Angela R Allen and Ian R Dixon, Alaska Satellite Facility, Fairbanks, AK, United States
The Alaska Satellite Facility (ASF) Distributed Active Archive Center (DAAC) is supporting NASA’s SMAP (Soil Moisture Active Passive) satellite mission, which launches in January 2015. SMAP will measure global soil moisture and its freeze-thaw state every 3 days using an L-band synthetic aperture radar (SAR) and radiometer. ASF, along with the National Snow and Ice Data Center DAAC and NASA’s Earth Science Data and Information System (ESDIS), is identifying and developing tools and technologies to facilitate use of global, near-real-time data by the SMAP user community. ASF will host the SMAP Level 1 radar data and make them available for download through ASF's data discovery interface, Vertex, and the ASF Application Programming Interface. Vertex allows a user to search, visualize and download SAR data, browse images and relevant metadata, and will offer the complete SMAP L1 radar archive to the public. The entire SMAP archive consisting of level 1-4 data can be accessed via Reverb, the NASA EOSDIS metadata and service discovery tool. In anticipation of the SMAP launch and data release, ASF has developed and released a new website ( and a suite of web resources, including interactive media, technical information, a product guide, related publications, and tools for working with the HDF5 data format. The ASF SMAP team is exploring OPeNDAP and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory’s Webification technologies for enhancing in-browser data visualization and analysis. These technologies, and tools developed with them, represent opportunities for exposing this valuable dataset to areas with limited bandwidth or understanding of radar data. This presentation will highlight the enabling technologies and techniques ASF is employing to bring these data to new scientific and applications users and respond to ever-changing user needs.