Professor Dara Entekhabi
PI at MIT
Professor Hosni Ghedira
PI at Masdar Institute
The goal of this research project is to develop pre-launch 'data-denial' experiments for the future SMAP mission. Given the regional interest in arid and semi-arid land issues, this research is focusing on: (1) drought early-warning and (2) dust generation.
Having an accurate estimation of soil moisture spatial variation will play a key role in forecasting, estimating and monitoring dust generation in dry and arid regions such as the UAE. Furthermore, direct observation of soil moisture from space will allow significantly improved estimates of water, energy and carbon transfers between the land and atmosphere. The accuracy of numerical models used in weather prediction and climate projections are critically dependent on the correct characterization of these transfers. Soil moisture measurements are also directly applicable to flood assessment, drought monitoring and dust generation prediction. Mitigation measures of drought and excessive dust generation hazards are based on spatial monitoring and season climate prediction.