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Vahid Naeimi, Zoltan Bartalis, and Wolfgang Wagner

Abstract

This article presents a first comparison between remotely sensed surface soil moisture retrieved with the European Remote Sensing Satellite-2 (ERS-2) scatterometer (SCAT) and the corresponding product provided by the Advanced Scatterometer (ASCAT) on board Meteorological Operation satellite (MetOp), the first of a series of three satellites providing, among other things, continuity of global soil moisture observations using active microwave techniques for the next 15 yr. Three months of collocated 2007 data were used from the SCAT and ASCAT, limited to two study regions with different land cover composition. The result of the assessment is satisfactory and ensures consistency of migrating soil moisture retrieval from the long-term SCAT dataset to ASCAT measurements. The influence of a shift of observation incidence angle ranges between the two instrument generations was not found to be significant for the soil moisture retrieval. The correlation coefficients (R) between two relative soil moisture (normalized water content) datasets compared in different incidence angle ranges are around 0.90 with root-mean-square error (RMSE) values in the order of 8.5. Results are expected to improve slightly further once the calibration of the ASCAT instrument is finalized.

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