Alexander Löw

Category : Non classé

Dear ColleaguesAlex-loew

I regret to have to tell you a very sad piece of information. One of our colleagues, Alex Löw tragically died in a car accident last week end. He had been with us since the inception of the Cal Val activities for SMOS and has always been very supportive of the passive microwave soil moisture approach. More important he was a very good scientist and we all enjoyed and gained by discussing science with him. He was also very pleasant man, always positive and smiling, never the last to have some fun and never taking himself too seriously. In short a very easy going but serious and enthusiastic colleague. I will for sure miss him a lot.

My deepest sympathy goes to his wife and children

Position opening at CESBIO

Category : Non classé, position opening

Position opening at CESBIO

In the framework of the SMOS (Soil Moisture and Ocean Salinity) follow on mission, the Centre d’Etudes Spatiales de la BIOsphère (CESBIO) is opening a position. The duration is 12 months with a possible extension.

SMOS was launched in 2009 and has been running very smoothly ever since (see here or on this blog). SMOS relies on the use of a new instrument: a 2 D interferometer to achieve both adequate spatial and temporal sampling and operates at L Band. It was followed by two other satellites SMAP and Aquarius with different observation modes but always operating at L band.

With these missions in flight, a wealth of science and applications has been derived ranging from hurricane or thin sea ice monitoring to drought or flood forecasting or climate monitoring.

It is however time to envision how to replace aging satellites and for this purpose the European Space Agency (ESA) initiated a study to define users’ requirements at low frequency passive microwaves.

The study was awarded to a European consortium led by CESBIO.  In this context CESBIO is opening a position to contribute to this project.

The role of the applicant is to basically participate within the consortium to the making of the project in the two main aspects:

Support management and coordination:

  • establish and operate web pages portal for both internal and external communication and management of the project activities
  • report and documentation
  • organise science meeting and write the related reports
  • liaise with ESA and the international members of the project

Support for technical studies depending on his skill:

  • contribute to establishing a list of the different products supported by L-Band measurements together with their accuracies and feasibility/ maturity from input of the community
  • Translate and trace requirements from science end users to requirements for geophysical parameters, and to passive L-Band products.
  • Contribute to a “cluster analysis” of products and applications according to their key requirements, like temporal and spatial resolution and radiometric accuracy
  • perform simulations to assess requirements when needed

Applicants should possibly hold a Ph.D. degree in remote sensing or should have equivalent experience in space research and in physics and geophysics. They should have good communication skills. The applicant should be fluent in English (written and spoken). A good practice is a plus. The applicant should have excellent  writing skills for reporting and documentation.

The work will take place within the SMOS team of CESBIO (Toulouse) and in collaboration with INRA (Bordeaux), several other teams in Italy, Spain, Switzerland, Finland, Portugal, as well ESA (Noordwijck NL) and CNES (Toulouse France).

Salary: Gross: about 2100 euros / month, depending on qualification and experience

Duration: 12 months minimum

Applications (application letter + CV+2 references) should be sent to Yann Kerr (; phone: 05 61 55 85 22)

Happy New Year!!

Category : CATDS, Data, L2, Non classé, Satellite

The SMOS team wishes you all a very Happy, Healthy and Peaceful Year 2016!

Let it be full of good L band radiometer data as well !!

We are also pleased to announce that the reprocessing of the 6 years of SMOS data is quasi completed and is currently being checked. So more about the official release very soon together with new results!

All the best from the SMOS team

SMOS Training Course 2015 – student’s point of view

Category : CATDS, Data, Training


Awaluddin Halirin Kaimuddin : “I am an Indonesian PhD student from the University of Brest, France, working on marine fish species distribution modeling using GIS technique. In the need of sea salinity data as one of the limiting factor of fish distribution, I applied for the SMOS training course held by ESA. Thanks God that I was accepted as one of the lucky participant for one week intensive course. I really enjoyed the teaching method with full dedication and support from the teachers/organizers. In addition, the participants came from different background and from almost all around the world: Europe, Asia, North America, even from New Zealand allowing sharing experience and discussion not only about the research but also about different social working condition and even cultural subject. It was such a wonderful and rich experience that I definitely recommend and promote the course to all of my friends”

Alexander Schwertheim: I came to the ESA training course on behalf of  Bodeker Scientific in New Zealand. We are currently assessing the feasibility of assimilating soil moisture data over New Zealand    in order to help the agricultural sector to conserve water. Given that our project is in its early stages, we did not yet know which of the SMOS products we would use. The SMOS training course provided me with enough information on all the products, to understand the differences and benefits of each. Having completed the course I am confident I have the skills to use whichever SMOS product I require.

Victoria Walker: I am a graduate student at Iowa State University and I came to the training course to learn the details of the L2 soil moisture retrieval algorithm. I fully enjoyed the time I spent here making new connections and expanding my knowledge of SMOS.

Lange Martin: Dear Trainings course organizers and lecturers, thanks a lot for the invitation to the SMOS training course. I enjoyed it very much to attend this intense course with an internationality which I never experienced in such a small kind group of around 20+x people from New Zealand over Asia, Africa, North America to  Scandinavia (sorry for those I didn’t mention).  I am Martin Lange working at the German weather service in the field of  land data assimilation.  As I took the trainings course as a starting point for my work in assimilation of SMOS data in soil moisture analysis it was very helpful to get an overall overview about the mission and an introduction to the existing products with practical applications and presentations what has been achieved already. Although I didn’t know very much about the retrieval algorithms so far, I feel that I am now prepared to do the next steps. Thanks to Yann Kerr, Susanne Mecklenburg who did all the things behind the scenes which are necessary to make such an event being successful, and the whole team for the individual assistance. Keep it up!

Xu YUAN: I am a Chinese PhD student from University of Twente, Netherland. My subject during PhD period is about the relationship between sea surface salinity and the Indian summer monsoon. From the SMOS training course, I learned a lot about the president situations of sea surface salinity which is very helpful with my study. The teachers are very patient to teach us the knowledge and to solve our problems. I really enjoy the time during this SMOS training course.

Zenaida Chitu: I am researcher at the National Institute of Hydrology and Water Management, Romania working on hillslope hydrology for analyzing the hydro-meteorological conditions which trigger landslides in Sub-carpathians area, Romania. As soil moisture represent a key parameter for definition of the initial state of the catchments, I applied for SMOS training course in order to extend my approach over large areas in Romania. The SMOS training course was the best way to learn about how to access, to check the data quality and how to use the retrieval processors for obtaining soil moisture satellite products. The skills that I gained through this training course will help me to use SMOS products in my actual research. I really enjoined the course and I highly recommend it.

Karthikeyan Lanka: I am a PhD student from Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, India. I feel that I have attended the training program at right time in my academics. The training program has been seamlessly organized and the best part is that I could directly interact with trainers who were directly involved in development of products. They were courteous enough to come and visit my poster and involve in discussion on what I have been doing in PhD. I have received some valuable comments which are critical for my research. I am happy that I could establish contact with some great scientists as well as students. Thanks for organizing such a program and I request you to keep continuing it in future.

Friedrich Richter: “After finishing my studies in meteorology, I started my training at ESA  in the field of remote sensing of the cryosphere. My project’s goal is to investigate sea ice thicknesses derived by passive microwave from SMOS and make further implications on the atmospheric response. The SMOS workshop provided me perfect knowledge to start my investigations on this topic, especially in terms of a comprehensive understanding of variety of SMOS products from the low L1 measurements to high complex L4 data products.”

Hakki Baltaci: I am a PhD student from Istanbul Technical University together with full time working in Meteorology Service,of Istanbul,Turkey. Although topics of the training were hard for me to understand in a week:), the programme was well prepared by including algorithms, and scientific applications. I have learned so many things about the soil moisture data and its applications that I will implement in my later studies. Thanks for scientific and organizing committee for their hospitality and supports.

Houda SAIRI , I am a PhD student from Hassan II University – Casablanca ( Morocco )  , in my studies I’m trying to integrate the parameter of soil moisture in hydrological modeling and flood forecasting so it’s very interesting for me to know how to manipulate SMOS data in the right way by the right method/tool . For me, this training course gave me a push to learn and also to create a SM scientific network that of course will help me in the future. Thanks for all of scientific and organization committee for their efforts.

This post was prepared by Awaluddin Kaimuddin

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