NASA to launch SMAP satellite in November 2014
American space agency NASA has planned to launch Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) satellite in November 2014. It is part of the first tier of missions recommended for NASA by the Earth Science Decadal Survey.
Utility of SMAP
The satellite will gather the local data of agricultural and water managers that are needed worldwide. SMAP uses two microwave instruments to monitor the top 2 inches of soil on Earth’s surface. In sync, these instruments will generate soil moisture estimates with a resolution of about 9 kilometers, mapping the entire globe every 2-3 days.
SMAP surface measurements will be combined with hydrologic models to conclude soil moisture situations in the root zone. These measurements will allow science applications users to:
- Comprehend processes that link the terrestrial water, energy, and carbon cycles.
- Evaluate global water and energy fluxes at the land surface.
- Compute net carbon flux in boreal landscapes.
- Improve weather and climate forecast skill.
- Develop improved flood prediction and drought monitoring competence