The AACES field experiments: SMOS calibration and validation across the Murrumbidgee River catchment
- 1Monash University, Department of Civil Engineering, Melbourne, Australia
- 2Centre d'Etudes Spatiales de la Biosphére (CESBIO), Toulouse, France
- 3Goddard Space Flight Center, NASA, Hydrospheric and Biospheric Sciences Laboratory, Greenbelt, USA
- 4The University of Melbourne, Department of Infrastructure Engineering, Melbourne, Australia
- *formerly at: The University of Melbourne, Department of Infrastructure Engineering, Melbourne, Australia
Abstract. Following the launch of the European Space Agency's Soil Moisture and Ocean Salinity (SMOS) mission on 2 November 2009, SMOS soil moisture products need to be rigorously validated at the satellite's approximately 45 km scale and disaggregation techniques for producing maps with finer resolutions tested. The Australian Airborne Cal/val Experiments for SMOS (AACES) provide the basis for one of the most comprehensive assessments of SMOS data world-wide by covering a range of topographic, climatic and land surface variability within an approximately 500 × 100 km2 study area, located in South-East Australia. The AACES calibration and validation activities consisted of two extensive field experiments which were undertaken across the Murrumbidgee River catchment during the Australian summer and winter season of 2010, respectively. The datasets include airborne L-band brightness temperature, thermal infrared and multi-spectral observations at 1 km resolution, as well as extensive ground measurements of near-surface soil moisture and ancillary data, such as soil temperature, soil texture, surface roughness, vegetation water content, dew amount, leaf area index and spectral characteristics of the vegetation. This paper explains the design and data collection strategy of the airborne and ground component of the two AACES campaigns and presents a preliminary analysis of the field measurements including the application and performance of the SMOS core retrieval model on the diverse land surface conditions captured by the experiments. The data described in this paper are publicly available from the website: http://www.moisturemap.monash.edu.au/aaces.