In order to achieve large coverage on the ground the antenna spins at 14.6 revolutions per minute (one revolution every 4 seconds). SMAP’s orbital motion combined with the spin of the antenna sweeps a small field of view in a series of overlapping loops that create a swath 1000 km (621 miles) wide. This large swath coverage allows SMAP to make complete soil moisture maps of the Earth repeated every 2 to 3 days. SMAP’s orbit is 685 km (426 miles) above Earth’s surface. Because Earth spins while SMAP orbits, swaths from each orbit are offset from each other and after 8 days, the same swath is repeated. Data taken by SMAP’s two instruments run from pole to pole. The orbit is oriented such that it crosses Earth’s terminator at the equator. (The terminator is the boundary between day and night, either at sunrise or at sunset).
Results of a study reveal that SMAP soil moisture retrievals are generally better than AMSR2 soil moisture data.
NASA scientists are auditioning the radar aboard a European satellite to see how well it stands in for the radar that failed aboard the U.S. space agency’s newly launched Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) satellite in July.
SMAP’s radiometer, which measures temperatures on Earth’s surface, can do more than previously thought, and the spacecraft remains healthy, scientists say.
Discovery Channel features students exploring Mount Kilimanjaro. They will learn about collecting environmental data on the mountain’s six biomes and meet a NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory scientist to discuss the SMAP Mission, a satellite that measures the Earth’s soil moisture.
Dara Entekhabi, the science team leader of NASA’s Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) satellite, was selected by the American Geophysical Union (AGU) to receive the 2015 Hydrologic Sciences Award.
NASA's SMAP satellite observatory conducted a field experiment as part of its soil moisture data product validation program in southern Arizona.
NASA scientists are on a mission to map global soil moisture, and through SciStarter, they’re teaming up with citizen scientists to gather valuable data from the ground to complement and validate what is seen from space.
News from the fourth Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAPEx-4) field campaign, carried out in Yanco, NSW, Australia, from May 1-23, 2015. This field experiment is part of the CalVal activities for the NASA SMAP mission.
NASA-funded study finds that Texas’ historic rainfall and resulting soil moisture could strengthen a storm moving inland from the Gulf of Mexico.
An assessment of surface soil moisture is necessary for applications such as weather forecasting, climate change modeling, monitoring of agricultural productivity, water resources management, drought prediction, flood area mapping, and ecosystem health monitoring.
“We’re entering the golden age of satellite missions for water,” says Jay Famiglietti, NASA’s senior water scientist. His research team is mapping the dwindling water supply of the drought-gripped western United States.
SMAP’s measurements will help scientists to understand the circulation of water and carbon. The carbon cycle has more branches than the water cycle; it transfers from the air, in the form of carbon dioxide, to soil, rocks, surface water and frozen surfaces.
With its antenna spinning at full speed, NASA's new Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) observatory has successfully re-tested its science instruments and generated its first global maps, a key step to beginning routine science operations.
Kent Kellogg will be the featured speaker May 11 when the La Cañada Flintridge Coordinating Council holds its annual Les Tupper Awards ceremony in von Karman Auditorium at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. The event begins at 7 p.m.
The 20-foot (6-meter) "golden lasso" reflector antenna atop NASA's new Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) observatory is now ready to wrangle up high-resolution global soil moisture data.
Mission controllers at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, have commanded the 20-foot (6-meter) reflector antenna on NASA's new Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) observatory to begin spinning for the first time. The partial spin-up is a key step before science operations.
NASA's new Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) observatory has successfully completed a two-day test of its science instruments. The observatory's radar and radiometer instruments were successfully operated for the first time.
Mission controllers at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, today sent commands to unfurl the massive 20-foot-wide (6-meter) reflector antenna on NASA's new Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) observator. The deployment of the mesh reflector antenna, which supports the collection of SMAP's radar and radiometer instrument measurements in space, marks a key milestone in commissioning the satellite. S
Over the past 12 months NASA has added five missions to its orbiting Earth-observing fleet – the biggest one-year increase in more than a decade. NASA scientists will discuss early observations from the new missions and their current status during a media teleconference at 2 p.m. EST Thursday, Feb. 26.
NASA's SMAP has successfully separated from the Delta II rocket off the east coast of Africa, and engineers have successfully established communication with the spacecraft.
A United Launch Alliance Delta II rocket with the Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) observatory onboard launches from Space Launch Complex 2, Saturday, Jan. 31, 2015, Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif. S
NASA's Soil Moisture Active Passive mission (SMAP) now is scheduled to launch from Space Launch Complex 2 at Vandenberg Air Force Base, California at 6:20 a.m. PST (9:20 a.m. EST) Saturday, Jan. 31, on a United Launch Alliance Delta II rocket. NASA Television coverage of the launch will begin at 4 a.m. PST (7 a.m. EST).
NASA's Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) observatory is perched on the pad at Space Launch Complex 2 (SLC-2), and is set to launch Thursday, Jan. 29, at 6:20 a.m. PST (9:20 a.m. EST) from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. A United Launch Alliance Delta II rocket will carry SMAP into orbit. The launch window lasts three minutes.
Precipitation and temperature are part of every weather forecast. Precipitation comes from clouds, clouds are formed of airborne water vapor, and vapor comes from evaporating soil moisture -- so soil moisture governs precipitation.
NASA doesn’t study just the stars and planets; it is also concerned with the soil beneath your feet. Studying the moisture in the top two inches of the soil from space with a satellite named "SMAP" can help weather forecasters predict flash floods, farmers grow more crops, and communities plan for drought.
NASA held a media briefing at 11 a.m. PST (2 p.m. EST) Thursday, Jan. 8, at NASA Headquarters in Washington to discuss the upcoming Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) mission.
Scheduled for launch on Jan. 29, 2015, NASA's Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) instrument will measure the moisture lodged in Earth's soils with an unprecedented accuracy and resolution. The instrument's three main parts are a radar, a radiometer and the largest rotating mesh antenna ever deployed in space.
SMAP will allow for improved weather forecasts that will upgrade predictions for heat stress and virus-spreading rates. In short, SMAP will allow policy makers to plan farther ahead into the future.
NASA’s innovative soil moisture mapper, a new environmental satellite launching in January, has been fueled up for blastoff from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.
The launch of NASA’s Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) observatory has been delayed to a targeted launch date of Jan. 31, pending completion of minor repairs to the United Launch Alliance Delta II launch vehicle.
Initial data from SMAP capture the 2015 spring thaw progression over the Northern Hemisphere, with a thaw front extending from predominantly non-frozen southern latitudes to the still-frozen north.
NASA celebrated the 45th annual Earth Day April 17-22 with a variety of live and online activities to engage the public in the Agency's mission to better understand and protect our home planet.
NASA's SMAP and University of Texas scientists are rounding up critical soil information for managing the Lone Star State's limited water.