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The impact of topography and mixed pixels on L-band radiometric observations over land needs to be quantified to improve the accuracy of soil moisture retrievals. For this purpose, a series of simulations has been performed with an improved version of the soil moisture and ocean salinity (SMOS) end-to-end performance simulator (SEPS). The brightness temperature generator of SEPS has been modified to include a 100-m-resolution land cover map and a 30-m-resolution digital elevation map of Catalonia (northeast of Spain). This high-resolution generator allows the assessment of the errors in soil moisture retrieval algorithms due to limited spatial resolution and provides a basis for the development of pixel disaggregation techniques. Variation of the local incidence angle, shadowing, and atmospheric effects (up- and downwelling radiation) due to surface topography has been analyzed. Results are compared to brightness temperatures that are computed under the assumption of an ellipsoidal Earth.
Geoscience and Remote Sensing, IEEE Transactions on (Volume:45 , Issue: 7 )
Date of Publication: July 2007