The project proposal aims at paving the way for the utilisation of satellite derived soil moisture products in Romania, creating the framework for the validation and evaluation of actual & future satellite microwave soil moisture derived products, demonstrating its value, and by developing the necessary expertise for successfuly approaching implementations in the Societal Benefit Areas (as they were defined in GEOSS).
Agriculture in Romania is major economic contributor (8%) to the GDP while hydrology plays a central role in disaster prevention & management are only two of many key users of soil moisture information which would largely benfit from the spatial coverage, frequent data acquisition and inproved accuracy of the new soil moisture satellite instruments.
Up to this moment, no attempt has been made in Romania to provide the scientific & business community with a modern, state of the art approach to their soil moisture data needs. Although the expertise in space-based Earth observation exists, among previous and on going projects and studies, satellite soil moisture producst have been used in just one project (ADAM - Assimilation de Données spatiales par Agro—Modélisation, 2001-2002) while at NMA, ASCAT soil moisture maps over Romania are produced since 2012.
ASSIMO aims at filling the gap, establishing a Continous Soil Moisture & Temperature Ground-based Observation Network (RSMN) within the framework of NMA’s weather station network, as a prerequisite for achieving it’s overall goal of stimulating the utilisation of space-based Earth observations of soil moisture for a wide range of applications in Romania for the benefit of the economic and scientific activities and of the public at large.
At project completition we expect to have had successfully demonstrated the value of validated space-based Earth observations of soil moisture, to have:
- The ground for a future national soil moisture service;
- An active user group;
- Had successfully build and to operate the Continous Soil Moisture & Temperature Ground-based Observation Network (RSMN) for the validation of satellite soil moisture products, a growing in-situ soil moistuture & temperature dataset;
- A satellite soil moisture validation processing chain;
- A continuous and permanent contribution to the International Soil Moisture Network;
- An opening to the participation in future ESA cal/val activities and the expertise required for the advancement in validation and utilisation of present and future satellite soil moisture products.