Interesting stuff from Davos (Laret) (for once?!)

Category : Data, ground measurements

Davos is well known for some meetings taking place up there. But our Colleagues from WSL and Gamma Remote sensing are carrying out a very interesting experiment as detailed below by Mike and Reza!

Davos-Laret Remote Sensing Field Laboratory: Latest Results and Progress

Reza Naderpour and Mike Schwank

The Davos-Laret Remote Sensing Field Laboratory (Switzerland) was established in October 2016 as the only currently-operating Alpine test site dedicated to the development of novel retrieval approaches for the estimation of snow properties from passive/active microwave remote sensing data.


Caption: ELBARA in Davos-Laret: before winter (the wire mesh is visible on the ground) and when snow is present

The second winter campaign started on November 18, 2017 simultaneously with the publication of the first paper based on Winter 2016/17 campaign:

Naderpour, R.; Schwank, M.; Mätzler, C. Davos-Laret Remote Sensing Field Laboratory: 2016/2017 Winter Season L-Band Measurements Data-Processing and Analysis. Remote Sens. 20179, 1185.

Accessible here:

With two more upcoming papers, the research conducted in the Winter 2016/17 campaign has mainly investigated the retrieval of snow liquid water content from L-band radiometry as well as disturbing impacts of snow liquid water on the ground permittivity and snow density retrievals. Additionally, several data processing improvements, including a refined RFI mitigation approach, are suggested which can be of high interest to ELBARA users. See the PDF file for more information on the 2017/18 campaign and close-up details of the campaign practicalities!


My (big) mistake wrt LEWIS

Category : Cal/Val, Data, ground measurements

I would like to complement a statement I made on several posts which is inaccurate!

I said on several occasions that LEWIS had been designed by F Lemaitre from ONERA when he actually designed the receiver etc but not the horn which was designed by CNES (M Dejus). I may even add that the design of the horn inspired the design of EMIRAD horn probably and, moreover, was used directly for CAROLS and MARMOTTE2.

This being corrected, I am glad to add hat LEWIS, in the Alps, is still running strong!

PhD opening

Category : position opening

Dr Mike Schwank who is looking for a PhD student that would like to work within the project:
"Active/Passive Microwave Remote Sensing in Application to ”Vegetation & Soil” and “Snow & Soil” (MicroVegSnow) funded by the "Swiss National Science Foundation" (SNF).

A summary of the project goals and approaches can be accessed from:

Applicants interested in this position please go to:

SMOS dielectric constant product and its uses during the last cold spell in Europe

Category : CATDS, L2, L4

SMOS delivers one « strange » or rather unusual product which is an estimate of the surface dielectric constant (see ATBD!). A example of it’s potential use is shown below with the fields of dielectric constant estimated over Europe for two periods corresponding to the arrival of a cold front over Western Europe. The first picture corresponds to the period going from January 28 to 31 2012. The cold spell is arriving but not quite there yet. The second picture shows the dielectric constant for the period going from February 2nd to 5th, 2012. As one might remember, it was quiet cold and soil was often frozen while snow was widely spread over Europe (and quite dry as it was cold). The dielectric constant consequently dropped significantly. This can been seen on the pictures with the dielectric constant dropping from values equivalent to wet soils (typically 15) to values for very dry or frozen soils (1 to 3) which gives this more blueish shade.


January 28 to 31:  western Europe is grayish white hence high dielectric constant values …


February 2-5, 2012. Western Europe is under snow or frozen, … much lower values of the dielectric constant.

Al Bitar and al, CESBIO

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