Latest Soil Moisture and Ocean Salinity satellite Stories

ESA Satellites Taking A Deeper Look Into Sea Ice
2012-10-05 08:28:31

This year, satellites saw the extent of Arctic sea ice hit a record low since measurements began in the 1970s. ESA´s SMOS and CryoSat satellites are now taking a deeper look by measuring the volume of the sea-ice cover. Measurements from ESA´s Soil Moisture and Ocean Salinity (SMOS) mission show that ice has thinned significantly in the seasonal ice zones, with extensive areas less than half a metre thick. Sea ice has a large influence on the heat exchange between the ocean...

A Better Look At Salinity From SMOS
2012-10-01 08:26:12

Earth observation measurements shouldn´t be taken with a pinch of salt. ESA is comparing readings of sea-surface salinity from drifting floats to confirm the SMOS water mission´s measurements. Since its launch in 2009, ESA´s Soil Moisture and Ocean Salinity (SMOS) satellite has been helping us to understand the water cycle. As with any Earth observation mission, it is important to validate the readings acquired from space. This involves comparing the satellite data with...

As Ground Radars Switch Off, SMOS Satellite Measurements Improve
2012-07-04 15:13:20

Over a dozen radio signals that have hindered data collection on ESA´s SMOS water mission have been switched off. The effort also benefits satellites such as NASA´s Aquarius mission, which measures ocean salinity at the same frequency. We all know what happens when you place a cell phone too close to a speaker: seconds before the phone rings, that obnoxious buzz interrupts your favourite song. This is radio interference — an unwanted reception of radio signals. Not only...

Over 30 Years Of Global Soil Moisture Observations For Climate Applications
2012-06-20 04:14:52

[ Watch the Video ] Water held in soil plays an important role in the climate system. The dataset released by ESA is the first remote-sensing soil moisture data record spanning the period 1978 to 2010 — a predecessor of the data now being provided by ESA´s SMOS mission. The datasets are now available to the science community for feedback analyses and climate model validation. The amount of water held in global soils makes up only about 0.001% of the total water found on...

SMOS Images Europe’s Dry Soils From Space
2012-05-31 03:05:53

The trend of below-average rainfall across Europe has continued into the first months of 2012. ESA´s SMOS water mission has revealed the negative consequences of this recent bout of ℠good´ weather. Western Europe is experiencing a severe lack of water because of this trend. Concern about the deficit of water is rising across European countries and their respective water agencies, in particular in Spain, France, Germany and the UK. The absence of sufficient water...

Swarm Constellation Heads North
2012-02-20 04:12:36

The three satellites that make up ESA´s Swarm magnetic field mission were presented to the media on Feb 17. Following a demanding testing program, the satellites were displayed in the cleanroom before they are shipped to Russia for their July launch. Swarm is ESA´s first constellation of Earth observation satellites designed to measure the magnetic signals from Earth´s core, mantle, crust, oceans, ionosphere and magnetosphere, providing data that will allow scientists to...

SMOS Becomes Hurricane Hunter
2012-02-11 04:08:09

[ Animation of Hurricane Igor Surface Winds ] ESA´s Earth Explorers have again shown how they are surpassing expectations. Designed to map soil moisture and ocean salinity, the versatile SMOS satellite has demonstrated that it can also offer unique information to improve hurricane forecasts. The Soil Moisture and Ocean Salinity (SMOS) satellite carries a novel microwave radiometer to capture images of ℠brightness temperature´. These images correspond to radiation emitted...

SMOS Versatility Offers Sea Ice Mapping
2011-12-21 04:27:20

ESA´s SMOS mission is proving to be extremely versatile. Not only does this pioneering satellite offer crucial data on soil moisture and ocean salinity, but it can also map the thickness of ice floating in the polar seas. The Soil Moisture and Ocean Salinity (SMOS) satellite carries an innovative passive microwave radiometer to capture images of ℠brightness temperature´. These images correspond to microwave radiation emitted from Earth´s surface and can be related to...

Image 1 - SMOS Maps Europe’s Dry Autumn Soils
2011-12-08 04:21:57

Dry soil resulting from Europe´s exceptionally warm and dry autumn is being monitored by ESA´s SMOS water mission. The images here show the stark comparison between soil moisture in November 2010 and November 2011. Like the most of the year, this autumn has been particularly dry. In the Netherlands, for example, just 9 mm of rain fell in November, compared to the average of 82 mm. According to the Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute KNMI, November was the driest since...

2011-12-03 12:13:20

A remarkable ESA campaign in one of the remotest regions on Earth has been fundamental in ensuring that the SMOS mission is delivering reliable data to improve our understanding of Earth´s water cycle. The two-year campaign set out to answer a simple but important question: do the microwave signals of a particular wavelength emitted from the surface the Antarctic ice shelf towards the SMOS satellite change over time? For a satellite mission that maps variations in soil...

Word of the Day
  • The call or cry of a bird or other animal to its mate or its young.
'Call-note' is newer than 'bird-call,' which originally referred to 'an instrument for imitating the note of birds' but now also refers to 'the song or cry of a bird.'