End of of the SMOS fortnight at ESAC !!

Category : CATDS, Tools, Training

A very busy two weeks at ESAC have just finished.

First a training course took place at ESAC during one week (May 18-22). It was the third SMOS training course but this time ESA took care (very efficiently!) of the logistics and provided us with very nice facilities (thank you Antonio!!)

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(all photos courtesy of Ali Mahmoodi)

This training course was aimed at newcomers wanting to learn how to use SMOS. With lectures intersped with practicals the students (18) were intitated into the different SMOS levels. The course also included a visit of the ESAC facilities together with a fine « BBQ ».

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Some of the students stayed on to take advantage of the SMOS Conference which was also a success . The presentations covered all the SMOS aspects together with presentations and posters of equivalent missions (Aquarius and SMAP) recent results and synergisms. Evening were busy with spontaneous picnics and a gorgeous banquet

The presentations will be made available by ESA on its SMOS conference site.

SMOS 3rd training course is in full swing

Category : Training

The SMOS training course (3rd edition) is currently taking place at the ESA centre of Villafranca (ESAC) in Spain.
18 students from 14 countries together with 4 spectators are currently being « initiated » to the SMOS data in the very nice facilities of ESAC

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Ali presenting image reconstruction (picture by Beatriz)

The course is the third one and takes advantage of the release of the new version (V620) of the SMOS Data while covering both land and ocean science applications (see twitter account)

Next week, the Second post launch SMOS workshop will take place, also at ESAC. Stay tuned!

Towards a Flood risk alert system with SMOS?

Category : CATDS, L3, L4

SMOS gives almost real time information on soil moisture. At CESBIO / CATDS we had the idea to investigate with Capgemini how such a piece of crucial information could be used to anticipate flood risks. Using the Capgemini « Rodger » platform, we merged SMOS historical records of Soil Moisture, SMOS actual surface soil moisture information and rainfall forecasts to build a flood risk indicator.

Even though our approach is still in infancy and there are still a number of open issues to sort out (not mentioning when the extreme rainfall forecast are inadequate) we score  several successes during the past months and most notably during the recent floods in Morocco which occurred a few days ago.

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flood risks as obtained on November 22nd, 2014

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Same for November 25, 2014

So some work is still to be done but we are getting there!

Stay tuned!

Ahmad, Audrey, Julien, Sat and Yann

Happy Birthday SMOS!

Category : CATDS, Data, L3

Yes SMOS has been orbiting the Earth for over 5 years now!

And SMOS has been granted an extension which should take us for another 5 years.

To Celebrate just look at this animation prepared by Ahmad Albitar based on the SMOS median soil moisture retrievals. Just  click, look and you will see many features…. The red bars in the bottom indicate the months of the pictures . It is a 3 months running window.

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Or, in term of brightness temperatures, (still done by Ahmad)  but in percentiles with also many features to be seen!

TB