NASA’S SMAP Mission Kickstarts Global Soil Moisture Analyzing Operations
With the launch of Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) mission, NASA has laid foundations for mapping global soil moisture and accurate weather predictions that can help us cope with the drastic weather irregularities. Now after completion of observatory, science operations have been commenced.
“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.”
The team involved in the mission is ready to compare the collected data with the ground measurements regarding discrepancies of the nature of soil. This very activity will last for more than a year and will help scientists in analyzing the soil types, vegetation and ground cover.
In addition to this, these measurements will be very useful for scientists to understand the flow of water and carbon. Thus, this will lead to more proper comprehension of the variations between carbon cycle and water cycle.
NASA launched SMAP on January 31. Between May 4 and 11, SMAP captured first global view with success. The high resolution image revealed that the US Midwest, Europe and Asia have moist soil as compared to the the Southwestern US, and Australia where soil is dry.
The mission is expected to accomplish its purpose of providing up-to-date global soil moisture maps over the course of three years, after which it will be terminated.