Fundusze Unijne
ELBARA_PD - European Space Agency

The research project, the European Space Agency ESA

Project title: ELBARA_PD (Penetration Depth)

Coordinator: Mateusz Iwo Łukowski, Ph.D.

Number: 4000107897/13/NL/KML, AO 1-7021

Project implementation: 2013 - 2015

The ELBARA_PD project aim is to determine the depth of a soil layer, wherein the moisture content is measured by the SMOS (Soil Moisture and Ocean Salinity) satellite. The water in soil is a very important part of the environment, having great importance in both the global and the local scale. Soil moisture is the key factor influencing the circulation of water and energy in natural environment and the climate. Researching the amount of water contained in the soil allows the prediction and prevention of negative phenomena such as floods, droughts and soil erosion. Adequate soil moisture content of cultivated field is one of the most important factors to ensure proper growth and development of plants. The observed variation of soil moisture is the result of the processes of mass and energy exchange between the atmosphere and the ground. Therefore, accurate assessments of this exchange is so important both in the evaluation of the small, regional scales, as well as the observation of the effects of global climate change. Soil moisture is the ECV (Climate Environment Variable) and its observation is among the priority tasks of the Earth Sciences. SMOS satellite measures the water content in the surface layer of the soil for the entire globe, but so far the depth of layer that can be "seen" by the satellite is poorly understood. This makes difficult to assess water resources quantitatively. SMOS is a radiometer that uses 69 brightness temperature sensors. The project is going to use ELBARA device, which is a single brightness temperature sensor, loaned from the European Space Agency (ESA). ELBARA is similar to the SMOS radiometer placed in orbit, but intended for stationary use on Earth. The results of the measurements made with the help of ELBARA on the selected test area will be generalized for SMOS data interpretation in areas outside the test site.

The project is implemented by the staff of the Institute of Agrophysics Polish Academy of Sciences in Lublin (Dr. Mateusz Iwo Łukowski - coordinator, Prof. Bogusław Usowicz, Prof. Jerzy Lipiec and two people TBD), with an external cooperation with the Space Research Centre Polish Academy of Sciences and other institutions (Dr. Eng. Wojciech Marczewski, MSc Jan Słomiński, MSc Ewa Słomińska, Dr. Andrzej Kotarba, Dr. Eng. Krystyna Stankiewicz).

ELBARA_PD project is funded by the Government of Poland through an ESA Contract under the PECS (Plan for European Cooperating States).