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The Microwave Imaging Radiometer with Aperture Synthesis (MIRAS) on-board the Soil Moisture and Ocean Salinity (SMOS) mission is providing useful data since November 2009, and proving the potential of 2D interferometry from space. With the end of its nominal operation phase in November 2012, the mission is expected to extend its lifetime for at least more than two additional years. Along with all the current improvements on data processing and exploitation, the SMOS trail might need to be continued with the aim of providing data to the users in the coming years. This paper presents a SMOS follow-on operational mission which is the result of integrating the actual lessons learnt from MIRAS with a novel hexagonal array geometry, proving robustness against radio-frequency interferences (RFI) and receiver failures. The performance and the instrument architecture enhancements are exposed, along with a practical deployment solution.
Selected Topics in Applied Earth Observations and Remote Sensing, IEEE Journal of (Volume:6 , Issue: 3 )
Date of Publication: June 2013