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Water & Energy Cycles

The NASA Soil Moisture Active/Passive (SMAP) Mission will enable the mapping of soil moisture with unprecedented resolution. Soil moisture is an important parameter of the earth's water, energy and carbon cycle. The mapping of soil moisture is important for hydrologic modeling, climate prediction, and flood and drought monitoring. Soil moisture plays an important forcing function in the interaction between land and atmosphere. It also acts as storage of water between rainfall and evaporation, and influences the infiltration and runoff prediction in hydrologic processes. Although C-band and X-band active and passive sensors have been used in satellite and shuttle missions, nevertheless, extensive ground-based and aircraft measurements have shown that L-band is superior in moisture retrieval. The mission of SMAP is a combined passive and active polarimetric sensor at the frequencies of 1.41 GHz and 1.26 GHz, respectively. The use of passive L-band radiometer alone can lead to a 40km soil-moisture product. The use of active L-band radar can have a 3 km-product. Since the radar has a higher spatial resolution, a combined active/passive retrieval algorithm can lead to a 10km soil moisture product. In the past, separate retrieval algorithms have been developed for active and passive sensors. Thus the use of L-band in both active and passive sensing presents a new challenge in a combined retrieval algorithm. The SMAP mission also has a 3 km freeze-thaw product. To meet these goals, we propose to be a member of the science definition team (SDT). In the team, we will play the following roles. 1. To review the approaches of the passive retrieval algorithm of soil moisture and the associated physical theory 2. To review the approaches of the active retrieval algorithm of soil moisture and the associated physical theory 3. To review the approaches of the combined active and passive retrieval algorithm, and conduct sensitivity studies to soil moisture and vegetation moisture, and provide guidance of refinement/improvement 4. To review the approach and the results of observing system simulation experiment (OSSE) and the applications of the retrieval algorithm to the synthetic data of OSSE and to review the validation efforts of the algorithms 5. To review the active retrieval algorithm of freeze-thaw and the associated physical theory

Project PI: Leung Tsang/University of Washington

Department of Electrical Engineering M310 EE/CSE Box 352500 University of Washington Seattle, WA 98195

Phone: (206) 685-7537

Email: leung@ee.washington.edu

http://www.ee.washington.edu/faculty/tsang/

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Started: Aug 10, 2010

Last Activity: Dec 16, 2010

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