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High quality soil moisture data over the Chinese mainland from Asian satellites

A scientific study conducted by VanderSat in collaboration with Chinese research partners.

In the last decades, the rapid economic development and population growth in the People’s Republic of China has placed increasing pressure on the natural hydrological system as well as agricultural production. Timely observations of soil moisture are crucial in providing early warnings of drought and flood onset, and monitoring states of crops and pasture. Therefore, a thorough understanding of the individual qualities of such datasets over the People’s Republic of China is an essential step for effective use.

Scientist at VanderSat focussed on this topic and conducted a study over China together with their Chinese research partners from the Nanjing University (NUIST). Within this study several coarse scale satellite soil moisture products were evaluated, including soil moisture from the Chinese Microwave Radiation Imager on-board the Fengyun-3B satellite.

This study revealed a significant added value of the soil moisture products as derived from Asian satellites, especially over the densely populated eastern part of the country. While the quality of the soil moisture products from dedicated missions like the ESA SMOS mission are reduced here due to Radio Frequency Interference issues, both Japanese and Chinese microwave sensors proved to be credible alternatives.

More info on this study can be found here.

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