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NASA : NASA Soil Moisture Mission Begins Science Operations .- La Misión NASA Humedad del Suelo inicia operaciones Ciencia
Hola amigos: A VUELO DE UN QUINDE EL BLOG., hemos recibido información de la Agencia Espacial NASA, que el satélite: NASA's new Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) inicia su operaciones, cuyo trabajo será medir la humedad del suelo terrestre.
High-resolution global soil moisture map from
SMAP's combined radar and radiometer instruments, acquired between May 4
and May 11, 2015, during SMAP's commissioning phase. The map has a
resolution of 5.6 miles (9 kilometers).
NASA's new Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) mission to map global
soil moisture and detect whether soils are frozen or thawed has begun
Launched Jan. 31 on a minimum three-year mission, SMAP will help
scientists understand links among Earth's water, energy and carbon
cycles; reduce uncertainties in predicting climate; and enhance our
ability to monitor and predict natural hazards like floods and droughts.
SMAP data have additional practical applications, including improved
weather forecasting and crop yield predictions.
During SMAP's first three months in orbit, referred to as SMAP's
"commissioning" phase, the observatory was first exposed to the space
environment, its solar array and reflector boom assembly containing
SMAP's 20-foot (6-meter) reflector antenna were deployed, and the
antenna and instruments were spun up to their full speed, enabling
global measurements every two to three days.
The commissioning phase also was used to ensure that SMAP science
data reliably flow from its instruments to science data processing
facilities at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena,
California, and the agency’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt,
"Fourteen years after the concept for a NASA mission to map global
soil moisture was first proposed, SMAP now has formally transitioned to
routine science operations," said Kent Kellogg, SMAP project manager at
JPL. "SMAP's science team can now begin the important task of
calibrating the observatory's science data products to ensure SMAP is
meeting its requirements for measurement accuracy."
Southern U.S. SMAP soil moisture retrievals from
April 27, 2015, when severe storms were affecting Texas. Top: radiometer
data alone. Bottom: combined radar and radiometer data with a
resolution of 5.6 miles (9 kilometers).
Together, SMAP's two instruments, which share a common antenna,
produce the highest-resolution, most accurate soil moisture maps ever
obtained from space. The spacecraft’s radar transmits microwave pulses
to the ground and measures the strength of the signals that bounce back
from Earth, whereas its radiometer measures microwaves that are
naturally emitted from Earth’s surface.
"SMAP data will eventually reveal how soil moisture conditions are
changing over time in response to climate and how this impacts regional
water availability,” said Dara Entekhabi, SMAP science team leader at
the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge. “SMAP data will
be combined with data from other missions like NASA's Global
Precipitation Measurement, Aquarius and Gravity Recovery and Climate
Experiment to reveal deeper insights into how the water cycle is
evolving at global and regional scales."
The first global view of SMAP's flagship product, a combined
active-passive soil moisture map with a spatial resolution of 5.6 miles
(9 kilometers), shows dry conditions in the Southwestern United States
and in Australia's interior. Moist soil conditions are evident in the
U.S. Midwest and in eastern regions of the United States, Europe and
Asia. The far northern regions depicted in these SMAP maps do not
indicate soil moisture measurements because the ground there was frozen.
Zooming in on the data allows a closer look at the benefits of
combining SMAP's radar and radiometer data. A few days before SMAP
collected data over the central and southern United States on April 27,
intense rainstorms pounded northern Texas. The areas affected by the
storm in northern Texas and the Gulf Coast are visible in great detail.
Such detail can be used to improve local weather forecasts, assist in
monitoring drought in smaller watersheds, and forecast floods.
Over the next year, SMAP data will be calibrated and validated by
comparing it against ground measurements of soil moisture and
freeze/thaw state around the world at sites representing a broad
spectrum of soil types, topography, vegetation and ground cover. SMAP
data also will be compared with soil moisture data from existing
aircraft-mounted instruments and other satellites.
Preliminary calibrated data will be available in August at designated
public-access data archives, including the National Snow and Ice Data
Center in Boulder, Colorado, and Alaska Satellite Facility in Fairbanks.
Preliminary soil moisture and freeze/thaw products will be available in
November, with validated measurements scheduled to be available for use
by the general science community in the summer of 2016.
NASA uses the vantage point of space to increase our understanding of
our home planet, improve lives, and safeguard our future. NASA develops
new ways to observe and study Earth's interconnected natural systems
with long-term data records. The agency freely shares this unique
knowledge and works with institutions around the world to gain new
insights into how our planet is changing.