ESA's Soil Moisture and Ocean Salinity (SMOS) mission has been designed to observe soil moisture over the Earth's landmasses and salinity over the oceans.
Soil moisture data are urgently required for hydrological studies and data on ocean salinity are vital for improving our understanding of ocean circulation patterns.
Launched on 2 November 2009, SMOS is the second Earth Explorer Opportunity mission to be developed as part of ESA's Living Planet Programme. As well as demonstrating the use of the new radiometer, the data acquired from the SMOS mission will lead to better weather and extreme-event forecasting, and contribute to seasonal-climate forecasting. As a secondary objective, SMOS will also provide observations over regions of snow and ice, contributing to studies of the cryosphere.
ESA's Operations team is responsible for SMOS payload operations from ESA's ESAC Establishment; the mission is operated on behalf of ESA by the French space agency (CNES) from Toulouse.
Access the complete mission profile, including details on mission and science operations, in ESA's SMOS web pages.