Saturday, 25 April 2015

SMAPEx Team ready for liftoff

With the SMAP commissioning phase almost completed, the SMAPEx-4 Experiment is ramping up for the teams arrival on 30th April to undertake the first SMAP validation experiment. Things are getting very exciting!!

In readiness the temporary stations and radar calibrators have been installed this week. And fortuitously we got a good amount of rainfall last weekend bringing soil moisture levels from near zero up to around 0.4 to 0.5v/v. Over the past week this has dried to between 0.2 and 0.3v/v with further rain expected this weekend. In any case, we now have some very interesting soil moisture patterns to explore!
Top 0-5cm soil moisture from SMAPEx stations in the Yanco core site (for daily updates on the soil moisture conditions, please check:

Apart from the pasture sites with typical autumn time grass conditions, the cropping fields are mostly bare soil, and either being worked for planting or have recently been seeded. This gives a nice base of low crop conditions/bare soil which will be contrasted against the much more mature crops we anticipate in SMAPEx-5.

Only one more week until we start sampling!!

Post by: Prof Jeffrey Walker, Monash University, Australia

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