Project Reserved Area





































































































The CryoSMOS consortium



The project team includes the following European research institutions:


- IFAC, Institute of Applied Physics "Nello Carrara", ITALY (Prime contractor)

- DTU, Technical University of Denmark, DENMARK

- LGGE, Laboratoire de Glaciologie et Geophysique de l' Environnement, FRANCE

- University of Hamburg, GERMANY

- CESBIO, Centre D' Etudes Spatiales de la Biosphere, FRANCE

The project team combines in-depth expertise in all relevant scientific fields for the project being a solid basis for innovative work and successful completion of the project. The different teams are part of large institutions that worked in several ESA' s projects and activities and which provide all the necessary technical and administrative facility for project' s execution. In the following sub-sections the main characteristics and achievements of the different team are summarized.



The research at the Microwave Remote Sensing Group (MWRSG) of the Institute of Applied Physics "Nello Carrara", (IFAC-CNR) includes almost all remote sensing activities in microwave ranges for the study of land, ocean and atmosphere. Research topics deal with the development of new sensors, modelling interactions of electromagnetic waves with natural media, the development of retrieval algorithms and the assimilation of remote sensing data in geophysical processes. The MRSG is involved in all theoretical, experimental, and technological aspects of microwave remote sensing of land and ocean. The main research area is the experimental and theoretical study of microwave scattering and emission from land surface. This includes: the development of microwave sensors, the organization of field experiments, the analysis of SAR and radiometric data from airborne and satellite sensors, the development of electromagnetic models and inversion algorithms. In the past 15 years special attention was devoted to the study of the terrestrial snow and the ice sheets using passive and active microwave sensors within the framework of ESA and Italian National Antarctic Program (PNRA).In this regards IFAC was PI of several experimental campaigns in Antarctica. Research activity is being carried out within the framework of projects funded by the Italian Space Agency, European Commission, the European Space Agency and the National Research Council, the
PNRA and other Italian Entities. The MWRSG is composed of 5 staff members (4 scientists + 1 technician) , 1 post-doc and 1 PhD student. Qualified external advisors are used for some particular aspects (e.g. software or mechanical design).



The research at DTU Space, Department of Microwaves and Remote Sensing (MRS) focuses on the following subjects:
1) Microwave sensors, techniques and campaigns – both passive (radiometers) and active (radars), and deals with sensors, signal processing, data handling and analysis, and applications. Sensors for space applications are designed, while airborne prototype systems for evaluation and mission preparations are designed, built and operated.
2) Methods and applications - Methods for data processing and interpretation are developed and applied for microwave sensors like radars and radiometers for future and existing satellite systems as well as airborne systems. Airborne and satellite data and methods are applied in connection with applications as for instance sea ice monitoring, ocean (salinity, temperature, wind speed) and land cover monitoring.

Activities such as system developments and airborne campaigns are generally very costly, and MRS has been able to attract substantial external funding from e.g. ESA, Danish research councils, the Danish National Research Foundation, and the EU. MRS contains a unique combination of expertise: it is of paramount value that a system designer knows about applications, or that a method developer is intimately familiar with the technical constraints of the sensors. This combination makes MRS very competitive with regard to radiometer and Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) systems, processing algorithms and their applications The radiometer work started in the 70' s where a 3 frequency (5, 17, and 34 GHz) radiometer system was developed. It is a conically scanned imager with an antenna aperture of 1 m. It employs noise-injection radiometers, and is designed to be flown on the ramp of a C-130 aircraft. A laboratory experimental setup to demonstrate the sparse array system has also been developed. Two antenna horns can be positioned anywhere within a certain aperture and the outputs of corresponding radiometer receivers are cross-correlated to give samples of the visibility function. By sequential measurements a multi-channel radio camera can be simulated. Test targets have been successfully imaged. The design of a proper radio camera was carried out in the ESTEC funded MIRAS program with MATRA as prime contractor and DTU as subcontractor. DTU carried out demonstration experiments using the 2- channel laboratory instrument with the horns placed in various positions along the Y shaped arms. Also image reconstruction algorithm work was pursued. The MIRAS work led to the Soil Moisture Ocean Salinity (SMOS) mission.
During the late 90' s the imaging radiometer system was radically upgraded with new polarimetric receivers at Ku & Ka bands. Several campaigns, including the ESA funded POLRAD' 96 campaign, were carried out to investigate the wind driven sea for azimuthal signatures. Eventually, the airborne imaging system proved able to generate with good fidelity maps of wind directions over the ocean. The airborne system has been augmented with an L-band polarimetric radiometer in order to investigate ocean and land emissions at this frequency, relevant for the SMOS mission. The radiometer is a polarimetric, direct sampling digital radiometer. This concept enables advanced digital processing of the received signals with the aim of safely detect RFI by statistical methods (kurtosis) and by polarimetry. This L-band radiometer system played an important role in the ESA funded airborne campaigns in support of the SMOS mission, including the Cal/Val
campaigns. In the DOMECair campaign the EMIRAD L-band radiometer system was flown over Dome-C in Antarctica with the aim of assessing spatial homogeneity concerning the brightness temperature. The installation on an AWI airplane is re-used in the present SMOSice project, flying over sea ice off Svalbard.

The Geodynamics Department carries out numerous field projects in both Arctic, Antarctic and internationally (e.g., Nepal and Indonesia), supported mainly by ESA, EU and US agencies. Examples of recent relevant projects include airborne sea-ice thickness monitoring for the Greenland government and ESA, repeated flights of the Greenland ice sheet for the national monitoring programme, and projects for geoid determination, providing height system infrastructure for both national and international agencies and engineering companies.
The Geodynamics Dept has many years of experience in Greenland ice sheet work, including derivation of the first ice-sheet wide DEMs, work with early satellite altimetry over the ice sheet, and general monitoring of ice sheet changes from ICESat, GRACE and EnviSat. The department has been deeply involved in the CryoSat mission, and carried out CryoSat calibration and validation campaigns in Greenland, Canada (Devon Ice Cap) and Svalbard (Austfonna) in cooperation with the CryoSat Calibration, Validation and Retrieval
Team (CVRT). The Department has recently initiated major science projects also in Antarctica, especially major airborne geophysical campaigns over the Antarctic Peninsula and East Antarctica, including gravity, magnetic, ice-penetrating radar and laser measurements.



The remote sensing group of the Laboratoire de Glaciologie et Geophysique de l' Environnement (LGGE) is included in the scientific team "CLIPS" (Climat : Passe, Present, Projection). It focuses on fields of microwave remote sensing by radiometry, electromagnetic modeling, snow properties in situ measurements. The group is involved in Arctic and Antarctic climate studies through analyse of remote sensing data and modeling development. A part of activities is dedicated to instrumental development and field experiences. Theoretical, experimental, and technological activities take place in projects funded by the French Space Agency (CNES), the National Research Agency (ANR), Polar Institute (IPEV), and others French entities. The group is composed of 4 permanents members, 1 post-doc and 1 PhD student. During the five last years, 4 PhD thesis have been led about passive microwave in polar regions.


University of Hamburg

The Centrum fur Erdsystemforschung und Nachhaltigkeit (CEN) is a research centre at the University of Hamburg, Germany. CEN has a total staff of 560 researchers and professors, about 50% of which are devoted to marine sciences. CEN performs basic research and academic education in earth system sciences. CEN strengthens trans-disciplinary research and educational structures. M.Sc. and doctoral Students carry out experiments in modern laboratories, use the supercomputer of the German Climate Computing Center, participate in research cruises or operate equipment in research aircraft. About 40% of the research performed within CEN is dedicated to marine sciences. The seagoing activities have always been complemented by modelling studies. Remote sensing and data assimilation is another of the expertise for which CEN is well known. Among others, the centre performs the German ECCO effort (GECCO) by which global and regional data assimilation is being performed over the last 50 years. The suit of remote sensing data used for ocean studies include SST, SSH, ice, ocean colour and various SAR and scatterometer applications. CEN is equipped for sea going ocean work. It has direct access to ship time on medium-size and ice-strengthened research vessels. It has also access to the university' s computer centre and the German Climate Computing Centre. The centres research plan calls specifically for focus in the European Arctic and Sub-arctic Seas in the fields of experimental, modelling and remote sensing work. CEN research is excellently networked on a national and international level, partly through consorted efforts. As a member of the German Marine Research Consortium (KDM), CEN co-represents the interests of German marine, polar and coastal research and promotes international cooperation. CEN, through the University of Hamburg is one of the shareholders of the DKRZ. CEN actively participates in various FP7 Projects (e.g., THOR, NACLIM, MONARCH-A) as well as in the North Atlantic field work for CLIVAR.



CESBIO lead by Yann Kerr is well known for its expertise in remote sensing of the earth's surface for the monitoring of the biosphere. CESBIO is one of the major Expert Scientific Laboratories contributing to the SMOS mission and has an extensive knowledge of the SMOS data. CESBIO has state of the art expertise in
the use of remote sensing data (modelling, disaggregation, assimilation) for various instruments. It has gained a considerable experience in space mission, modelling activities and retrieval algorithms. CESBIO is part of the ESL (Expert Scientific Lab) for the SMOS mission involving experts of all aspects within the field of passive microwave L-band radiometry over land surfaces, the SMOS satellite and its algorithms and data products at all levels. SMOS-related activities include image reconstruction and calibration issues (using DOMEX data) on the level 1 brightness temperatures, the definition of the level 2 soil moisture algorithm its calibration and validation, as well as data reprocessing CESBIO will use this experience to deliver the most adapted SMOS products and technical data support for the project. In addition, the here proposed work can profit from previous Arctic/Antarctic research experience of several team members. CESBIO took also part in the Bipol project lead by LGGE (G. Picard) at Dome C site during the 2012/2013 campaign.