A team of NASA scientists, that also includes a scientist of Indian-origin, has developed Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) satellite. The satellite can predict the severity of droughts worldwide and help farmers to produce the maximum yield.
Launched in November 2014, the mission will collect the local data of agricultural and water managers that are needed worldwide.SMAP uses two microwave instruments to monitor the top 2 inches of soil on Earth’s surface. Together, the instruments create soil moisture estimates with a resolution of about 6 miles (9 kilometers), mapping the entire globe every two or three days.
The SMAP will enable science and applications users to understand processes that link the terrestrial water, energy and carbon cycles, estimate global water and energy fluxes at the land surface, quantify net carbon flux in boreal landscapes, enhance weather and climate forecast skill, and develop improved flood prediction and drought monitoring capability. SMAP can also assist in predicting how dramatic drought will be, and then its data can help farmers plan their recovery from drought.