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!!)


(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 ».


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.

Want to look at SMOS DATA? what tools and which formats?

Category : Cal/Val, Data, L1, L2

To answer frequently asked questions, here is a short memo on data formats and specifications document availability established thanks to Norrie Wright

the basic point to access all this is the ESAC DPGS node where you will find

the Standard data specifications –>

Note that the most up to date documents are (as of 20/4/2010)
for level 0 –> SO-TN-IDR-GS-0003 L0 Spec v3.5 2010-02-02.pdf

for level 1 –> SO-TN-IDR-GS-0005 L1 Spec v5.14 2010-02-10_track_changes.pdf
For Level 2 –>SO-TN-IDR-GS-0006 L2 Spec v4.9 2010-04-06.pdf
and for near real time –> SO-ID-DMS-GS-0002 – NRT Product Format v2_6.pdf

If you want to look at the data ESA had a number of tools developped they are located – with related documentation at –>

You may also want to use the BEAM SMOS Tool box available from Brockman Consult (http://www.brockmann-consult.de/beam-wiki/display/SBOX/SMOS+Toolbox+for+BEAM) or ESA ESRIN, not to mention the now famous Orbit tool ESOV -NG (the SMOS orbit file was given in this blog earlier) also available from ESA

Michele Zundo also indicates that if you want to really go into the data and make your own algorithms there is a C++ library to allow read/write fields from the SMOS products available on
It needs to be used together with Products schemas also located at

Finally a « matlab » read tool was developed by Array Systems and can be obtained from  Ali Mahmoodi at Array –> ali@array.ca it simplifies readuing data to use in Matlab code


Updated Orbit Scenario File

Category : Commissioning phase, Data, Satellite

Thanks to Berthyl, Amparo, Montse et al.  we have now the updated Orbit scenario file !

This is to be used  in your favourite Orbit software (we recommand ESOV!)


But if you are using ESOV classic try

Scary movie

Category : Commissioning phase, Data, L1, Satellite

On this movie made by the L1PP team you can see the field of view of SMOS at the antenna level (Xi ,eta) as it travels around the earth (in both pol)

At the beginning things are very quiet (normal we are over the Pacific which is supposed to be calm!) and then after going over the Pole we start seeing red lights (no it is not traffic lights, nor a district!) linked to RFI. Then it is Star Wars and tn things are getting almost back to normal.

Note that this film was made with data without any calibration nor any good reconstruction (early data not yet reprocessed) so the RFI Smearing is very strong. Data posted yesterday shows that now we are isolating RFI sources much better and it should still improve.

On the next such film you will be able to identify the culprits!

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