Soil Moisture Active Passive Data (SMAP)
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General Questions & FAQs
The answer is yes! There are several ways to programmatically access NSIDC data products and metadata using Application Programming Interfaces (APIs). We also provide the ability to access data using an FTP client.
How are the enhanced SMAP radiometer products generated and what are the benefits of using these products?
There is considerable overlap of the SMAP radiometer footprints, or Instantaneous Fields of View (IFOVs), which are defined by the contours where the sensitivity of the antenna has fallen by 3db from its maximum.
OPeNDAP, the Open-source Project for a Network Data Access Protocol, is a NASA community standard DAP that provides a simple way for researchers to access and work with data over the internet.
How do I interpret the surface and quality flag information in the Level-2 and -3 passive soil moisture products?
SMAP data files contain rich quality information that can be useful for many data users. The retrieval quality flag and surface flag bit values and interpretations are documented in the respective product Data Fields pages of the user guides for these data products
SMAP Ancillary data sets are used to produce SMAP Level-1, -2, -3, and -4 standard data products.
The following table describes both the required and actual latencies for the different SMAP radiometer data sets. Latency is defined as the time (# days, hh:mm:ss) from data acquisition to product generation.
This short article describes the customization services available for SMAP data using Earthdata Search.
Why do the soil moisture values in the SMAP Level-4 data vary from what I expect in a particular region?
There are a few reasons that the soil moisture data values in SMAP Level-4 data products may vary from what you expect in a particular region. The first step a data user should take in investigating apparently anomalous values is to look at the rich quality information and other data flags contai
Why does the root zone soil moisture in the SMAP Level-4 soil moisture products vary in such close unison with the surface soil moisture?
The surface and root zone soil moisture estimates in the SMAP Level-4 soil moisture products are the outputs of a land surface model into which SMAP observations of brightness temperature have been assimilated.
While the standard SMAP Level-2 and -3 radiometer soil moisture products contain landcover_class and landcover_class_fraction in the data files, the enhanced soil moisture products do not.
How to Articles
Many NSIDC DAAC data sets can be accessed using the NSIDC DAAC's Data Access Tool. This tool provides the ability to search and filter data with spatial and temporal constraints using a map-based interface. Users have the option to
To convert HDF5 files into binary format you will need to use the h5dump utility, which is part of the HDF5 distribution available from the HDF Group. How you install HDF5 depends on your operating system.
There are several places you can find example code and other resources to read SMAP data in MATLAB, Python, IDL, and NCL:
This step-by-step tutorial demonstrates how to access MODIS and SMAP data using the Application for Extracting and Exploring Analysis Ready Samples (AppEEARS). AppEEARS allows users to access, explore, and download point and area data with spatial, temporal, and parameter subsets.
The following are instructions on how to import and geolocate SMAP Level-1C HDF5 data in ENVI. Testing notes Software: ENVI Software version: 5.3 and above. If using version 5.3, service pack 5.3.1 is needed. Platform: Windows 7
The following are instructions on how to import and geolocate SMAP Level-3 Radiometer Soil Moisture HDF5 data in ENVI. Testing notes Software: ENVI Software version: 5.3 Platform: Windows 7
This How to guide outlines the steps for properly importing, projecting and visualizing HDF and NetCDF files in ArcMap. A couple of things to note before you start:
Data subscriptions are available for select NSIDC DAAC data collections. Once signed up, the subscription service automatically sends you new data as they are delivered from active NASA satellite missions.
All data from the NASA National Snow and Ice Data Center Distributed Active Archive Center (NSIDC DAAC) can be accessed directly from our HTTPS file system, using wget or curl. Basic command line instructions are provided in the article below.
NASA Earthdata Search is a map-based interface where a user can search for Earth science data, filter results based on spatial and temporal constraints, and order data with customizations including re-formatting, re-projecting, and spatial and parameter subsetting.
NASA Worldview is a map interface that allows users to interactively browse imagery, create visualizations, and download the underlying data.
NASA's Global Imagery Browse Services (GIBS) provides up to date, full resolution imagery for selected NSIDC DAAC data sets.