NOAA Office of Satellite and Product Operations

NESDIS Operational Soil Moisture Products

The Soil Moisture Operational Products System (SMOPS) combines soil moisture retrievals from multi-satellites/sensors to provide a global soil moisture map with more spatial and temporal coverage. The SMOPS first retrieves soil moisture from WindSat* onboard the Coriolis satellite and then combines its baseline retrievals with those from other available satellites/sensors, including ASCAT and SMOS, to improve the spatial and temporal coverage of the WindSat observations.

*SMOPS is currently updated to generate basic retrievals from WindSat after the original baseline sensor AMSR-E failed. Soil moisture retrievals from AMSR2 onboard GCOM-W will be added in the future.

The global soil moisture maps are generated in 6-hourly and daily intervals with the latest 6 and 24 hours worth of soil moisture retrievals from multi-satellites/algorithms, and mapped with a cylindrical projection on 0.25 x 0.25 degree grids. For each grid point of the map, the output includes soil moisture values (%vol/vol) of the surface (top 1-5 cm) soil layer with associated quality information and metadata. The 6-hourly product is available in GRIB2 format at standard forecast times (00Z, 06Z, 12Z and 18Z), and daily product is available in both GRIB2 and netCDF4 formats.

SMOPS Example Details on the algorithm can be found at Algorithm Description.