Development and validation of the SMAP enhanced passive soil moisture product

S. Chan, R. Bindlish, P. O'Neill, T. Jackson, J. Chaubell, J. Piepmeier, S. Dunbar, A. Colliander, F. Chen, D. Entekhabi, S. Yueh, M. Cosh, T. Caldwell, J. Walker, X. Wu, A. Berg, T. Rowlandson, A. Pacheco, H. McNairn, M. ThibeaultJ. Martinez-Fernandez, A. Gonzalez-Zamora, E. Lopez-Baeza, F. Uldall, M. Seyfried, D. Bosch, P. Starks, C. Holifield Collins, J. Prueger, Z. Su, R. Van Der Velde, J. Asanuma, M. Palecki, E. Small, M. Zreda, J. C. Calvet, W. Crow, Y. Kerr

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference PaperOther

16 Citations (Scopus)


Since the beginning of its routine science operation in March 2015, the NASA SMAP observatory has been returning interference-mitigated brightness temperature observations at L-band (1.41 GHz) frequency from space. The resulting data enable frequent global mapping of soil moisture with a retrieval uncertainty below 0.040 m3/m3 at a 36 km spatial scale. This paper describes the development and validation of an enhanced version of the current standard soil moisture product. Compared with the standard product that is posted on a 36 km grid, the new enhanced product is posted on a 9 km grid. Derived from the same time-ordered brightness temperature observations that feed the current standard passive soil moisture product, the enhanced passive soil moisture product leverages on the Backus-Gilbert optimal interpolation technique that more fully utilizes the additional information from the original radiometer observations to achieve global mapping of soil moisture with enhanced clarity. The resulting enhanced soil moisture product was assessed using long-term in situ soil moisture observations from core validation sites located in diverse biomes and was found to exhibit an average retrieval uncertainty below 0.040 m3/m3. As of December 2016, the enhanced soil moisture product has been made available to the public from the NASA Distributed Active Archive Center at the National Snow and Ice Data Center.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication2017 IEEE International Geoscience and Remote Sensing Symposium
Subtitle of host publicationInternational Cooperation for Global Awareness, IGARSS 2017 - Proceedings
PublisherIEEE, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers
Number of pages4
ISBN (Electronic)9781509049516
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2017
EventIEEE International Geoscience and Remote Sensing Symposium 2017 - Fort Worth, United States of America
Duration: 23 Jul 201728 Jul 2017
Conference number: 37th (Proceedings)


ConferenceIEEE International Geoscience and Remote Sensing Symposium 2017
Abbreviated titleIGARSS 2017
Country/TerritoryUnited States of America
CityFort Worth
Internet address

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