A novel instrument has been especially developed to make these observations and one of the objectives is also to demonstrate the use of a new radiometer that is capable of observing both soil moisture and ocean salinity by capturing images of emitted microwave radiation around the frequency of 1.4 GHz (L-band).
SMOS carries the first-ever, polar-orbiting, space-borne, 2-D interferometric radiometer.
In summary, the SMOS science objectives are:
- To globally monitor surface soil moisture over land surfaces;
- To globally monitor surface salinity over the oceans;
- To improve the characterisation of ice and snow covered surfaces.
- To advance climatological, oceanographic, meteorological, hydrological, agronomical and glaciological science;
- To assess the potential of these measurements in order to the improve the management of water resources.
The Earth´s water cycle (ESA).