The Soil Moisture and Ocean Salinity (SMOS) mission is an Earth Explorer Opportunity mission from the European Space Agency (ESA). Its goal is to produce global maps of soil moisture and ocean salinity using the Microwave Imaging Radiometer by Aperture Synthesis (MIRAS). The purpose of the Passive Advanced Unit Synthetic Aperture (PAU-SA) instrument is to study and test some potential improvements that could eventually be implemented in future missions using interferometric radiometers such as the Geoestacionary Atmosferic Sounder (GAS), the Precipitation and All-weather Temperature and Humidity (PATH) and the Geostationary Interferometric Microwave Sounder (GIMS). Both MIRAS and PAU-SA are Y-shaped arrays with uniformly distributed antennas, but the receiver topology and the processing unit are quite different. The purpose of this work is to identify the elements in the MIRAS's design susceptible of improvement and apply them in the PAU-SA instrument demonstrator, to test them in view of these future interferometric radiometer missions.
Keywords: Passive Advanced Unit Synthetic Aperture (PAU-SA); SMOS; calibration; interferometric radiometer; microware; soil moisture and ocean salinity.