NASA has finally made the announcement regarding the launch of its new satellite, SMAP. According to the reports, NASA is all set to launch the new satellite on Thursday, 29th January. SMAP is not one of the general satellites that the space organizations across the globe send into the orbit. SMAP is a special satellite designed in such a way so that it can measure the moisture content of the soil via microwaves. NASA states that the satellite has been designed to keep a track of the moisture content of various places across the globe and send the data back to the scientists.
Soil Moisture Active Passive a.k.a SMAP has the world’s largest mesh antenna, which is far more efficient that most of the entities working currently. The antenna is exactly 19.7 feet wide and does 14 full rotations per minute, giving SMAP the best possible information up there.
According to Wendy Edelstein, instrument manager for SMAP mission, has stated that the satellite has been designed in such a way that it can perform the deeds needed by scientists and farmers. Considering the two contrasting servers that SMAP has, it becomes important for satellite to venture the field differently. The satellite will measure the moisture of the earth’s surface in the top 2 inches, giving scientists and farmers the exact figure of the moisture present in the soil.
The large mesh antenna with SMAP will send in microwaves to the earth’s surface every three days and collect the ones which are reflected back. The changes in the reflected microwaves will allow the scientists to gauge the moisture content of the soil.
NASA hopes that the information about soil moisture when shared with the farmers will help in prevention of droughts and crops can be salvaged and saved for the tough times. SMAP can provide genuine data, which certainly can be of much use in future.