SMAP

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The Mission:
The SMAP spacecraft launched on January 31, 2015 and will collect data for at least three years. SMAP will monitor drought, predict floods, assist crop productivity, improve weather forecasting, and study links between the water, energy, and carbon cycles.

The Measurements:
SMAP measures the amount of moisture in the top 5 cm (2 inches) of soil over the entire surface of Earth. This is accomplished with two main instruments, an active radar and a passive radiometer. Both operate at microwave (L-Band) frequencies. The active L-Band Radar emits a microwave signal and measures the reflection from Earth. The passive L-Band Radiometer measures ambient microwave emissions from the surface.

The Mechanics:
SMAP is comprised of a main spacecraft bus and a spinning instrument platform that rotates at 14.6 rpm.

The Motion:
The SMAP spacecraft travels in a sun-synchronous polar orbit around Earth at an altitude of 685 km (426 miles). This allows SMAP to create a consistent global map of soil moisture every two to three days.

The Management:
The mission is managed for NASA by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in partnership with the Goddard Space Flight Center. Archiving and public distribution of data is handled through the Alaska Satellite Facility and National Snow and Ice Data Center.

Official SMAP Website
Mission Website
Fact Sheet
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MOC-6118

Name SMAP
Designer Perijove
Designed 2016
Parts 195
Theme Space
Free Picnic Blanket with purchase
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