EGU24-11338, updated on 19 May 2024
EGU General Assembly 2024
© Author(s) 2024. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

SMOS after 14 years in orbit:Status, Achievements, and future plans

Yann Kerr
Yann Kerr
  • Centre d'Etudes Spatiales de la Biosphère Université de Toulouse (CNES, CNRS, INRAe, IRD, UPS) Toulouse France (

The ESA (European Space Agency) led SMOS (Soil Moisture and Ocean Salinity) mission, operating since November 2009, is the first satellite dedicated to measuring surface soil moisture and ocean salinity. It has been now in operation continuously for more than 14 years, delivering a wealth of new measurements including the first time ever global, frequent, quantitative and absolute measurements of soil moisture and ocean salinity. From these measurements a large number of science and applied products have emerged ranging from strong wing or thin sea ice thickness to root zone soil moisture or biomass but also fire or flood risks prediction, snow density or freeze thaw to name but a few. Operational users (such as numerical weather prediction) have also emerged. To obtain such results several challenges had to be addressed and overcome but results show the uniqueness of L band radiometry for some crucial water cycle measurements.

Currently, using the long term data set and developing approaches to extend it in time, climate trends can start to be considered as well as teleconnections and SMOS is contributing to a large number of ECV (Essential Climate Variables) / CCI (Climate Change Initiative). At the time of writing SMOS is in very good condition and can last for a few more years, extending the length of the data sets but will not last forever. Consequently the team is both investing time in new or improved science and application products but also on potential follow on mission which would be very much similar to SMOS (or SMAP) but with a significantly improved spatial resolution.

The presentation will give an overview of the most striking new results as well as future plans.

How to cite: Kerr, Y.: SMOS after 14 years in orbit:Status, Achievements, and future plans, EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-11338,, 2024.