Studying Soil Moisture from Space – NASA's Soil Moisture Active Passive mission
Sept. 11 & 12
NASA's Soil Moisture Active Passive, or SMAP, is a remote sensing mission designed to measure and map Earth's soil moisture distribution and freeze/thaw state with unprecedented accuracy, resolution, and coverage. Using a single satellite launched into a near-polar, low altitude orbit, SMAP's state-of-the-art radar and radiometer sensors are able to peer beneath clouds, vegetation, and other surface features to create global maps of these measurements every 2-3 days over a period of three years. Data from SMAP will be used in an extraordinary variety of important scientific applications and research, addressing weather forecasting and climate modeling, drought, flood and landslide predictions, agricultural productivity, and seasonal climate-related human health issues.
Dr. Sam W. Thurman, Deputy Project Manager
Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) Mission