2010 SMOS data reprocessing up to Level 1c

Category : Cal/Val, Commissioning phase, Data, L1, L2

As you might be aware ESA is reprocessing level1 data for the whole year 2010 with a constant calibration scheme…
This was done at DPGS (ESA ESAC) and was finished a few days ago.

Results seem OK and François has produced the overall temporal signature over DOME C.


This corresponds to measurements made at 42 ° (Green corresponds to vertical brightness temperature and blue to the horizontal). As only the full pol data was plotted ,there are gaps during the commissioning phase (when the instrument was operated in dual pol).

Though still somewhat noisy, the values are almost those measured on the ground by the L band radiometer:

You have below the measurements performed by Giovanni during the first months of 2010…


Note the closeness of the values !

Now at CESBIO we are re-processing level 2 over land, using CNES computers. We have already processed more than 2/3 of the whole year and are starting to check the outputs.

Stay tuned!


Soil Moisture Temporal Evolution As Seen By SMOS

Category : CATDS, Commissioning phase, L2

January 8 to June 30 2010
embedded by Embedded Video

double click to enlarge

This small animation was produced in the framework of the Centre Aval de Traitement des Données SMOS (CATDS funded by CNES) by Arnaud Quesney (Capgemini) and Elsa Jacquette (CESBIO) from DPGS data (ascending orbits) using the L2SM retrieval algorithm and L3 CATDS aggregation.

The maps were produced with a 3 day running window and using a 3X3 median filter. It covers the period January 8 to June 30 2010 and is thus made with acquisitions covering all the stages / improvements encountered during the commissioning phase as the data has not been reprocessed yet. This can be inferred by just looking at the temporal evolution!
One may not the RFI impact in some areas as well as the substantial decrease of RFI impact in Western Europe as the sources in Spain were eradicated.
Also have a look at Australia. You might see the rain system sweeping across the continent by th ened of th eperiod. You may also see the melt progressing at high latitudes…., monsoon effects etc….

A word of warning though. this film is for wetting your appetite only. The data was obtained with varying configurations (full and dual pol for instance), with several versions of the calibration scheme, of the processors (both level 1 and Level 2), so we need to have the data reprocessed before we can analyse in depth such information.
The thing to remember is that it can only improve and it is already quite impressive…..

End of SMOS commissioning Phase

Category : Commissioning phase

Yes, 6 months already since SMOS was launched from Plesetzk. Time flies!
The last 3 days we had a good set of meetings in Avila (with a superb organization – master minded by Guillermo – in a magnificent town ) to establish the status at the end of commissioning.
During the key point 3 we had an extensive summary of activities followed by the end of commisioning meeting and the a board meeting to finalise the options. and lay the path for the future.
In a nut shell (more detailed minutes and reports will be issued soon by the Project in preparation of the official hand over) we can say that SMOS is meeting practically all the science requirements as expressed in the original proposal of 1998 and indicated in the system requirement document with « flying colours ».
SMOS will now switch to the normal operation mode with the option of working in the full polarisation mode.
Early June, the L1C data will soon be reprocessed and made available to all while the level 2 will be made available to the Cal val users. More details and information will be announced in Bergen.
I must say that if we are now were we are it is thanks to the work and efforts of many people, all dedicated to making SMOS a success. The commissioning phase for instance saw lots of activity from the operation teams, the L1 and L2 teams.

I wish thus to thank all project teams, Industries and science team including the ones who were with me at the very beginning for making SMOS  so real and so good!

Is it raining ?

Category : Commissioning phase, L2

Back in December when we were looking at the first SMOS data we saw in Australia a strange feature…

Soil Moisture in Central Australia as seen by SMOS on December 11 2009

Soil Moisture in Central Australia as seen by SMOS on December 11 2009

Even though the level 1 processor was not yet fully tuned and the level 2 even less so these wet patches were annoying unless….. it was real

So we checked and with the help of our Australian colleagues  (Jeff Walker’s team) and Prof Robert Gurney from the University of Reading the solution came

It is real !

Rain in Australia on December 11 2009 (radars on the right)

Rain in Australia on December 11 2009 (radars on the right)

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