SMASPARES–SMOS Data Assimilation for Parameter Estimation in Radiative Transfer Models

  • Carsten MontzkaEmail author
  • Cho Miltin Mboh
  • Kathrina Rötzer
Part of the Springer Earth System Sciences book series (SPRINGEREARTH)


The validation of the SMOS Level 2 soil moisture product in the Rur and Erft catchments, Germany, showed that two main directions for enhancement should be followed: (i) improving radio frequency interference (RFI) mitigation strategies, and (ii) improving the parameterization of the radiative transfer model (RTM). Therefore, in this chapter two methods are developed to investigate the characteristics of RTM parameters, with a strong focus on soil surface roughness and vegetation opacity. One approach uses a dual state-parameter estimation technique in a data assimilation environment to select adequate parameters. It is a one-dimensional synthetic experiment neglecting spatial pattern of soil moisture as well as parameters. The spatial scale comes into play by investigating the feasibility of parameter estimation from synthetic disaggregated SMOS brightness temperature time series for the Rur and Erft catchments. A new partial grid search approach to parameter estimation (PAGSAPE) is developed in order to reduce computational cost compared to ensemble methods, which is important for future global applications.


Soil Moisture Data Assimilation Radiative Transfer Model Sensitivity Curve Radio Frequency Interference 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



This study was supported by the German Ministry of Economics and Technology through the German Aerospace Center (50EE1040) and by the European Space Agency (Support to Science Element (STSE) Program: SMASPARES). In situ soil moisture for the Rur and Erft catchments were made available by the Terrestrial Environmental Observatories (TERENO) initiative.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Carsten Montzka
    • 1
    Email author
  • Cho Miltin Mboh
    • 1
  • Kathrina Rötzer
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Bio- and Geosciences: Agrosphere (IBG-3), Forschungszentrum JülichJülichGermany

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