Short Course on Soil Moisture Trends using SMOS and SMAP data: Principles and Applications in Numerical and Environmental Modeling

Sunday, 2 February 2014 (1/2 day, afternoon) Room C205


Initialization of numerical weather predictions and regional atmospheric models with observed moisture fields often lead to improved weather forecasts.  Soil moisture data are critical for improving these applications, as well as contributing to seasonal climate forecasting. The launch of the NASA Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) mission in 2014 will provide soil moisture and freeze/thaw measurements from space for applications in fields of weather, climate, drought, flood, fire, and human health. Currently, ESA's Soil Moisture and Ocean Salinity (SMOS) mission has been observing soil moisture over the Earth's landmasses since its launch in 2009.

The SMAP Applications Program is initiating ways of allowing users to become familiar with SMAP data prior to launch in order to accelerate the use of the data once the satellite launches.  The SMAP Project actively supports applied research (before launch) to leverage where fundamental knowledge of how SMAP data products can be scaled and integrated into users’ policy, business and management activities to improve decision-making efforts. 

The goal of this course is to provide background on SMOS and SMAP data products and formats in order to foster use in atmospheric modeling and forecast applications. The workshop will help facilitate SMOS-SMAP data-use continuity. The course is aimed at operational practitioners, students and scientists who desire to know details about transitioning from SMOS to SMAP data uses in numerical and environmental prediction modeling.  Students must have some familiarity with using remote sensing data and forecast models, but will not need to be experts. 

The course will be divided into two parts. The first part will describe the data for this course from the SMOS and SMAP missions, while providing sample data sets from each mission (SMOS data will be actual on-orbit data, while SMAP data will be simulated).  Students will be provided products to help correlate across datasets and data groups as well as model code that will open files and plot different aspects of the data. The second part of the course will provide instruction and exercises on enabling users to adapt the code to their own needs.

The course format consists of two hours of lectures and demonstration followed by two hours of hands on laboratory session with exercises that can be completed any time during the conference.

The instructors for the course are Dr. Dara Entekhabi, (Science Team Leader of the NASA Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) mission) and Dr. Yann Kerr (Director of CESBIO, principal investigator (PI) of the SMOS mission).  They will be joined by Barry Weiss and Narendra Das from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory and Vanessa Escobar from NASA Goddard Space Flight Center.

The tutorial will begin at 1:30 p.m. and conclude at 5:30 p.m. Computer stations and Internet will be provided for this course.

For more information please contact Vanessa Escobar at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Code 618, 8800 Greenbelt Road, Greenbelt MD, 20771 (tel: 301-614-6654; email: [email protected]).