An Insider’s View of the SMAP Instrument Antenna: Major Performance Requirements and Design Details - Webinar

The Soil Moisture Active and Passive (SMAP) Mission soon will provide measurements of soil moisture from around the world, as well as its freeze and thaw states. This data will be used to enhance our understanding of the processes that link water, energy and carbon cycles, and to extend the capabilities of weather and climate prediction models.

The enabling instrument in the SMAP mission is a deployable mesh reflector antenna fed by a dual band, dual polarization horn in an off-set configuration. The antenna is shared by an L-Band Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) and, for the first time for a deployable mesh reflector, by an L-Band radiometer (RAD). The instrument will fly on a sun-synchronous, 680 Km orbit and will spin at 14.6 rpm to make a 1000 Km swath on the ground.

During this presentation, Paolo Focardi, senior engineer with JPL and CalTech, will provide an overview of this complex instrument antenna and its capabilities along with some of the most critical challenges of the final design. A list of major performance requirements for both the radar and the radiometer will be presented, as will an overview of the scale model work.