Soil moisture characterization of the Valencia anchor station. Ground, aircraft measurements and simulations

E Lopez-Baeza, M C Antolin, Jan E. Balling, F Belda, C Bouzinac, F Camacho, A Cano, E Carbo, S Delwart, C Domenech, A G Ferreira, A Fidalgo, S Juglea, Y Kerr, J Marco, C Millan-Scheiding, C Narbon, D Rodriguez, K Saleh, J SanchisNiels Skou, Sten Schmidl Søbjærg, P Soriano, J Tamayo, S Tauriainen, E Torre, A Velazquez-Blazquez, J.-P Wigneron, P Wursteisen

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference abstract in proceedingsResearchpeer-review


    In the framework of ESA SMOS Mission, the Valencia Anchor Station (VAS) has been selected as a core validation site. Its reasonable homogeneous characteristics make it appropriate to undertake the validation of SMOS Level 2 land products before attempting other more complex areas. Close to SMOS launch (2nd Nov. 2009), ESA defined the SMOS Validation Rehearsal Campaign Plan with the aim of testing the readiness, ensemble coordination and speed of operations, to be able to avoid as far as possible any unexpected deficiencies of the plan and procedure during the real Commissioning Phase campaigns. For the rehearsal activity which successfully took place in April - May 2008, a control area of 10 × 10 km2 was chosen at the VAS study area where a network of ground soil moisture (SM) measuring stations is being set up based on an original definition of homogeneous physio-hydrological units attending to climatic, soil type, lithology, geology, elevation, slope and vegetation cover conditions. Complementary to the ground measurements, flight operations were performed over this control area using the Helsinki University of Technology TKK Short Skyvan research aircraft which contained onboard a payload constituted of the following instruments: (i) L-band EMIRAD radiometer (Technical University of Denmark, TUD), (ii) L-band HUT-2D imaging interferometric radiometer (TKK), (iii) PARIS GPS reflectrometry system (Institute for Space Studies of Catalonia, IEEC), (iv) IR sensor (Finnish Institute of Maritime Research, FIMR). Together with the ground SM measurements, other ground and meteorological measurements from the VAS area, kindly provided by other institutions, are currently been used to simulate passive microwave brightness temperature to obtain satellite "match ups" for validation purposes and to test the retrieval algorithms. The spatialization of the ground measurements up to a SMOS pixel is carried out by using the SURFace EXternalisee (SURFEX) model from Meteo France. Output data, particularly SM, are then used to simulate L-band surface emission through the use of the L-MEB (L-band Microwave Emission of the Biosphere) model. This paper presents an overview of the ESA SMOS Validation Rehearsal Campaign carried out at the Valencia Anchor Station area, making more emphasis on the development of the ground activities which are also significant in the framework of other instrument missions such as EPS/MetOp ASCAT.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationProceedings of the Second EPS/MetOp RAO Workshop
    PublisherEuropean Space Agency
    Publication date2009
    Publication statusPublished - 2009
    EventSecond EPS/MetOp RAO Workshop - Barcelona, Spain
    Duration: 1 Jan 2009 → …
    Conference number: 2


    ConferenceSecond EPS/MetOp RAO Workshop
    CityBarcelona, Spain
    Period01/01/2009 → …


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