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ESA's SMOS and NASA's SMAP missions: providing global observations of soil moisture and ocean salinity and beyond
Convener: Susanne Mecklenburg  | Co-Conveners: Yann Kerr , Roberto Sabia , Barron Orr , Guy J.-P. Schumann , Patricia de Rosnay 
 / Tue, 29 Apr, 08:30–12:00
 / Attendance Tue, 29 Apr, 17:30–19:00

ESA’s soil moisture and ocean salinity (SMOS) mission is successfully operating and delivering data to the science community since 2009. Thanks to its scientific and technological excellence, the mission will continue to operate and provide global soil moisture and ocean salinity data. This session will address major scientific achievements based on data provided by the SMOS mission so far. The session will also put an emphasis on new applications with potential for operational services, which start to emerge given the availability of multi-annual, high quality data . The focus will be on:

i. Major scientific achievements based on SMOS data products, including level 1 (brightness temperatures) and level 2 (soil moisture and ocean salinity) data,
ii. Innovative applications, going beyond initial mission objectives, based on SMOS data products,
iii. Calibration aspects and algorithm development in support to improving SMOS data quality,
iv. Validation of the SMOS soil moisture, ocean salinity and vegetation data products using in-situ, airborne campaigns and satellite measurements,
v. Using SMOS data in data assimilation and predictive models in general.
vi. Fusion of SMOS data with other L-band observations for the generation of long-term data sets and thematic data records.

The launch of the NASA Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) mission in 2014 will provide measurements of soil moisture and freeze/thaw state from space for applications in fields of weather, climate, drought, flood, fire, and human health. Applied research is underway by SMAP early adopters to provide fundamental knowledge of how SMAP data products can be scaled and integrated into users’ policy, business and management activities to improve decision-making efforts. This session will report the first results of SMAP early adopters’ applied research, including a range of applications to hydrologic modeling, weather forecasting, crop growth simulation, military planning, climate extremes, famine early warning, and forest fire. This is the first compilation of how SMAP data products can be used in a diverse set of applications. The timing of this session coincides well with the planned launch of SMAP in October 2014, and it meets an objective to engage an international set of users of SMAP products after launch.