NASA's soil moisture mapper (SMAP) was launched on 31 January to map and detect global soil moisture. These maps will support the understanding of the interlinkages of Earth's water, energy and carbon cycles. The monitoring of SMAP will also promote weather and climate prediction as well as the monitoring of natural hazards.
First images of SMAP have now been made public. They demonstrate the ability of SMAP to provide comprehensive maps with a spinning instrument design. When fully operated, SMAP's antenna is able to cover the entire globe with high-resolution-data every two to three days with a 1,000 km swath from a altitude of 685 km above Earth.