News | July 8, 2007
SMAP Science Workshop, Arlington, VA
July 9-10, 2007
Hyatt Arlington, Virginia
A NASA-sponsored workshop was held to review the science of the Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) mission, recommended by the National Research Councils Decadal Survey Report "Earth Science and Applications from Space: National Imperatives for the Next Decade and Beyond". The workshop was open to the broad national and international scientific community.
As envisioned by the Decadal Survey, SMAP will measure globally the moisture and freeze/thaw states of the soil. These measurements are critical for better understanding and monitoring of various environmental phenomena, including:
- Evolution of weather and climate over continental regions
- Plant growth and agricultural productivity (especially during drought)
- Carbon cycle dynamics
SMAP information will have an important role in applications such as weather and seasonal climate forecasting, and forecasting, assessment and mitigation of water-related natural hazards (e.g., floods, landslides, and drought).
The workshop had three purposes:
- To evaluate the science that can be accomplished by the SMAP mission as described by the NRC Decadal Survey;
- Articulate clarifications of design or intent that might be required due to the brevity with which the Decadal Survey described the mission;
- To describe what other measurements from research or operational satellites are necessary to achieve the science expected of the SMAP mission.
A Workshop Report was produced summarizing meeting deliberations on these topics and recommendations for further study and scientific optimization consistent with the mission guidelines articulated by the Decadal Survey.