Last June, the EU hosted workshops dedicated to:
Gathering user requirements for the next generation of the Copernicus Space Component.
Among them one dedicated to Polar and snow cover applications.
Polar and Snow Cover Applications –
User Requirements Workshop.
23 June 2016, Brussels.
Full text, presentations and report are available here.
As far as L band radiometry is concerned it is an interesting report. It was probably built upon the Position paper prepared by representatives of CMEMS. The operational Copernicus Marine Environmental Monitoring Service (CMEMS) provides regular and systematic core reference information on the state of the global ocean and regional seas. Excerpts from the above mentioned position report (available) are given here:
« The current CMEMS Arctic coupled ice-ocean model system is able to assimilate sea ice concentration data to constrain the position of the ice edge as well as sea ice thickness data for both thin ice (SMOS) and thick ice (ICESat/Cryosat-2), although ice thickness is not assimilated yet in the products available today. Ice drift data is currently assimilated but not as successfully as the other two variables.«
« …. However, for operational sea ice monitoring, input to sea ice models and sea ice charting, satellite measurements of the thin sea ice below 0.5 m (SMOS- like) is indeed also required »
and in their conclusions, one recommendation is : Continuation of SMOS like observations of thin sea ice below 0.5 m.
The workshop reports also provides the same requirements for L Band radiometry, but also states the question of potential pH estimates using a SMOS -like instrument.
==> « Can SMOS data deliveri nformation about pH of sea surface (and therefore about acidification of sea water)? Could this become an operational product? »
I believe that recent results on snow density with SMOS (FMI and Gamma-RS/WSL) as well as freeze / thaw mapping (FMI) using SMOS could have been mentioned.
So to make a long story short SMOS as a positive impact on Polar and snow science with several applications (SMOS being also available in NRT) and is requested by the user’s community alongside with other missions… and there are many other domains where L Band radiometry is also a key element….
Stay tuned and do not hesitate to provide your inputs!