SMAP team investigating radar instrument anomaly

SMAP team investigating radar instrument anomaly
NASA's Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) mission will produce high-resolution global maps of soil moisture to track water availability around our planet and guide policy decisions. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Mission managers at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California, are assessing an anomaly with the radar instrument on NASA's Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) satellite observatory. The radar is one of two science instruments on SMAP used to map global soil moisture and detect whether soils are frozen or thawed.

On July 7, at about 2:16 p.m. PDT, SMAP's radar halted its transmissions. All other components of the spacecraft continued to operate normally, including the radiometer instrument that is collecting science data.

An anomaly team has been convened at JPL and is reviewing observatory and instrument telemetry and . Telemetry indicates no other issues with the spacecraft.

SMAP launched Jan. 31, 2015. Its mission is to help scientists understand links among Earth's water, energy and carbon cycles; reduce uncertainties in Earth system modeling; and enhance our ability to monitor and predict natural hazards like floods and droughts. SMAP data have additional practical applications, including improved weather forecasting and crop yield predictions.

Explore further

It's 'full spin ahead' for NASA soil moisture mapper

Citation: SMAP team investigating radar instrument anomaly (2015, July 13) retrieved 20 August 2019 from
This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.

Feedback to editors

User comments

Jul 13, 2015
This is the 3rd sattelite this week with 'anomalies' in communication, first Dawn explorer, then new horizons, and now this one? 3 anomalies starts to make a trend IMO

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more