EGU General Assembly 2023
© Author(s) 2023. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Fiducial Reference Measurements for Soil Moisture (FRM4SM): Toward a better understanding of (satellite) soil moisture uncertainties 

François Gibon1, Alexander Boresch2, Irene Himmelbauer3, Daniel Aberer3, Raffaele Crapolicchio4, Raúl Díez-García4, Wouter Dorigo3, Philippe Goryl4, Alexander Gruber3, Yann Kerr1, Arnaud Mialon1, Wolfgang Preimesberger3, Philippe Richaume1, Nemesio Rodriguez-Fernandez1, Roberto Sabia4, Klaus Scipal4, Pietro Stradiotti3, and Monika Tercjak2
François Gibon et al.
  • 1CESBIO, Université de Toulouse, CNES/CNRS/INRAe/IRD/UPS, Toulouse, France
  • 2Angewandte Wissenschaft Software und Technologie GmbH (AWST), Vienna, Austria
  • 3Technische Universität Wien, Department of Geodesy and Geoinformation, Research Group Climate and Environmental Remote Sensing, Vienna, Austria
  • 4European Space Agency (ESA) - ESRIN, Frascati, Italy

The aim of this presentation is to report on recent advances concerning the satellite based soil moisture validation done through the ESA project “Fiducial Reference Measurement for Soil Moisture (FRM4SM)”. The main objective of this two years project (May 2021 - May 2023) is to study the means to inform on the confidence in soil moisture data products for the whole duration of a satellite mission. Composed of three international partners (AWST, CESBIO and TU WIEN), it aims at the identification and creation of standards for independent, fully characterized, accurate and traceable (i.e., fiducial) in situ soil moisture reference measurements with corresponding independent validation methods and uncertainty estimations for a satellite mission. The ground reference data is drawn from the International Soil Moisture Network (ISMN). New quality indicators are created to better characterize the aptness of ISMN measurements for satellite soil moisture validation, and protocols provided to identify a select set of fiducial reference data. The satellite part, in charge of independent validation methods, focuses efforts towards the Soil Moisture Ocean Salinity (SMOS) mission from ESA. Finally, the easy-to-use interface for the comparison of satellite soil moisture data against land surface models and in situ data, the Quality Assurance for Soil Moisture (QA4SM), targets to implement all created FRM protocols from ground measurement to validation methods created within the FRM4SM project.


How to cite: Gibon, F., Boresch, A., Himmelbauer, I., Aberer, D., Crapolicchio, R., Díez-García, R., Dorigo, W., Goryl, P., Gruber, A., Kerr, Y., Mialon, A., Preimesberger, W., Richaume, P., Rodriguez-Fernandez, N., Sabia, R., Scipal, K., Stradiotti, P., and Tercjak, M.: Fiducial Reference Measurements for Soil Moisture (FRM4SM): Toward a better understanding of (satellite) soil moisture uncertainties , EGU General Assembly 2023, Vienna, Austria, 24–28 Apr 2023, EGU23-8102,, 2023.