Post-doctoral Position on “SMOS in Antarctica”, Laboratoire de Glaciologie (LGGE), Grenoble, France

Category : CATDS, Data, L2, L3

Using a combination of field measurements and radiative transfer modelling, our group investigates the potential of brightness temperatures measured by passive microwave to infer information on the Antarctic climate. The Soil Moisture and Ocean Salinity (SMOS) mission provides for the first time observations in the low frequency range of microwaves (L-band, 1.4 GHz). Exploring the potential of this new data set is the goal of this project funded by the French space agency (CNES) and done in collaboration with CESBIO, Toulouse, France.

We are seeking to appoint a post-doctoral research scientist for 1 year to investigate these original data in Antarctica using modelling and experimental data (Dome C mainly) and satellite data.

The position will start on 1st November 2012 or not later than end of 2012.

Contact for enquiries and application:

Dr Ghislain Picard –

(Phone: +33 4 76 82 42 45)


Other information:

New North East passage free from ice … SMOS helps

Category : L1, L2, Ocean

Thanks to SMOS, able to detect and monitor thin ice, the A. Wegener Institutes found that the  North-East Passage could soon be free from ice again?

Winter measurements show thin sea ice in the Laptev Sea, pointing to early and large melting

More on -see this site.



Do You Remember B15J? Well, was a good buoy, but wandered into the ocean away from home and … melted away!

Category : Cal/Val, L1, Non classé, Ocean

After the drifting iceberg (identified by SMOS blog followers as the B15J) was spotted on SMOS data, it has become attractive to follow the movement of this massive « natural buoy », serving as the oceans current indicator.

The iceberg trajectory has been determined from the SMOS browse data, and it is charted as a function of the first Stokes parameter (at the incidence angle 42.5).


Animation based on consecutive single passes shows iceberg location during last three months.


Note, that in the range between 114-140 K the color scale has been modified on purpose. This gives better ability to distinguish moving B15J from the surrounding open water, but also depicts regions characterized by the same brightness temperature range as the tracked iceberg.

When in the middle of October 2011 B15J started to move towards the equator, straying from Antarctica, its brightness temperature started to decrease steadily. The DGG pixels belonging to the iceberg area and having maximum intensity of the first Stokes parameter have been extracted to examine polarimetric characteristics of the tracked object. Sample of polarimetric characteristics, grouped into three months sets, confirms significant drop-off of the brightness temperature.


Unfortunately at the end of December 2011, the signature of B15J were barely apparent. The iceberg vanished in the Pacific Ocean, making further tracking not feasible.


Ewa Slominska

Artic summer and antarctic winter as seen by SMOS … and a quizz

Category : Data, L2, Ocean

This post was prepared by
Ewa Slominska
Space Research Center PAS
18 A, Bartycka
00-716 Warsaw, Poland

During their work with SMOS data, Ewa Slominska has produced the following animations of the temporal/seasonal changes in global distribution of Brightness Temperatures over the poles.

It was made using SMOS browse products (merging land and sea) interms of 1/2 Stokes 1 (i;.e, (TBh+TBV)/2) over 7 day periods.

Results obtained look very nice. On one hand we see expanding ice  around the Antarctica, and ice melting areas (like the Hudson Bay or the Buffin Bay) around The North Pole on the other hand all this during the May to August 2011 period. Only worry .. the RFI!


(Click on the picture to enlarge and to better visualise the animation)

Now the quizz… !
what could be the tiny light blue point, which floats at the longitudes
of the Ross Sea, towards the East, close to the ice-sea ridge?


Answer … a few days … Ewa has found the cause! what is your guess?

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