This lesson introduces the concepts and principles basic to retrieving important land and ocean surface properties using microwave remote sensing observations from polar-orbiting satellites. Section one reviews the advantages of microwave remote sensing from polar-orbiting platforms and briefly highlights some of the unique spectral characteristics that allow for differentiation between various surface types and properties. Subsequent sections present a more in-depth look at the derivation and application of microwave products that quantify four different land and ocean surface properties and their characteristics, including snow cover and water equivalent, sea ice, surface wetness and soil moisture, and sea surface temperature. The lesson reviews both past and current satellite missions, and also discusses follow-on missions including JPSS, GPM, and GCOM. This lesson takes about two hours to complete.
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