SMAP L2/L3 Soil Moisture Product Validation using In Situ Based Core Validation Sites
Thursday, 17 December 2015
Poster Hall (Moscone South)
NASA’s Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) Mission was launched in January 2015. The objective of the mission is global mapping of soil moisture and landscape freeze/thaw state. SMAP utilizes L-band radar and radiometer instruments sharing a rotating 6-meter mesh reflector antenna. Merging of active and passive L-band observations enables an unprecedented combination of accuracy, resolution, global coverage and revisit-time for soil moisture and freeze/thaw retrievals. The primary validation reference of the data products will be ground-based measurements. Well characterized sites with calibrated in situ measurements will be used to determine the quality of the data products; these sites are designated as core validation sites. The mission success criteria will be evaluated with respect to these core site comparisons. Other remote sensing and model-based products will be used as additional resources to expand the spatial and temporal scope of the evaluation. In an effort to ensure the geographic distribution and diversity of conditions of the core validation sites, SMAP has partnered with investigators across the globe. Because different SMAP Level 2 soil moisture products have different spatial scales, the suitability of the various sites for validation of the different products must be done for each site while considering several factors. The main factors are gravimetric calibration of the sensors within a site and determination of a spatial scaling function of the sensor measurements up to the SMAP resolution scales. The mission has been able to utilize the core site measurements since the launch of the satellite because the infrastructure for data transmission and processing was established well before the launch. The validated soil moisture products will be released by May 2016. In this presentation we will show the performance of the beta version of the soil moisture products (released by November 2015) and discuss the status of the validation process.