This project is to be undertaken in the framework of the SMOS mission, an Earth Explorer Opportunity mission (Living Planet Programme by the European Space Agency). Since its launch in 2009, its unique payload, the MIRAS (Microwave Imaging Radiometer by Aperture Synthesis) has produced a continuous stream of calibrated radiometric data to develop high level OS (Ocean Salinity) and SM (Soil Moisture) products. In 2014, reflecting SMOS versatility along with new synergistic opportunities, ESA's member states have approved the extension of the mission until 2017. An industrial consortium of European companies leaded by AIRBUS Defence and Space (CASA Espacio, Spain) has been the Prime Contractor to develop, manufacture and test all the sub-systems and equipments of the MIRAS. The current proposal builds on the successful activities related to SMOS performed by the research team since 1994. It is aimed to address the mission current hot points that can be summarized into two main general objectives: brightness temperature spatial bias reduction and orbital and seasonal drift minimization. Two additional complementary objectives that have the potential of technology transfer to the industry are also addressed: the study of SMOS new front-end configurations for future missions and the up-grade of UPC SMOS data processor (MIRAS Testing Software). The expected results aim to produce a social and economic impact since will directly support and extend the applications of SMOS: Developing enhanced climate models to monitorize climate change Improved medium range weather forecast Risk assessment of extreme events: floods, draught, fires Applications based on agriculture, fishery and forest monitoring As an Earth Explorer Opportunity Mission the main objectives of this proposal are aimed to extend and consolidate SMOS success by supporting the development of high-level SMOS applications and ease the dissemination of results to pave the way for a future operational sensor (e.g. to be operated by EUMETSAT). Therefore, the expectation of an economic impact of the project at industrial level is also clear since its potential technology transfer will improve the competitiveness of the Spanish and European space industry, that will be better positioned to participate in a SMOS follow-on mission. This general objectives particularize to the following five tasks: 1. Spatial bias mitigation by improved image reconstruction techniques 2. Impact of antenna pattern errors on SMOS full-pol temperatures spatial bias 3. Orbital and seasonal drift: models and mitigation 4. New front-end configurations for SMOS follow-on enhanced performance. 5. MTS (MIRAS Testing Software) update The impact on internationalization is guaranteed through publication in the major electrical engineering and remote sensing journals and symposia, following the long publication tradition that the research group is holding in these areas. Moreover, passive imaging (interferometry) of the Earth is rising international interest and the project will also result into different levels of collaboration with the major international space agencies: the European Space Agency (via SMOS related projects), NASA (via a Jet Propulsion Lab joint project) and the Chinese National Space Science Center (via collaboration in projects and education).
Plan Estatal de Investigación Científica y Técnica y de Innovación 2013-2016
Programa Estatal de I+D+i Orientada a los Retos de la Sociedad
Retos de Investigación: Proyectos de I+D+i
Gobierno De España. Ministerio De Economía Y Competitividad, Mineco