back to article Earth's soil moisture to be sniffed by DIRTY-MINDED satellite

NASA has successfully launched a satellite that will collect global observations of Earth's soil moisture. The U.S. space agency's bird – dubbed the Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) satellite – was blasted into space on the unmanned United Launch Alliance Delta II rocket. During SMAP's three-year mission, the sat's …

  1. Rik Myslewski

    Nanosatellites on board, as well

    In addition to SMAP, the Delta II also carried nanosatellites from the CubeSat Launch Initiative (CSLI). More info about them can be found here.

  2. Nigel The Pigeon

    Land Mines

    How far off is something like this from being able to produce land mine maps??

    I gather they are buried a bit deeper, but it seems like a viable way of scanning for them.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Land Mines

      Probably quite far off. The radar on this thing has a resolution of 1~3km meaning it measures the average moisture over an area of 2km^2. If something similar was used for land mines it could tell you there was some buried metal *somewhere* in a 2km^2 area - not very useful.

    2. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Re: Land Mines

      The problem is the technology to find them. Some are metal, some are plastic. There is also the size factor. Some are no bigger than small phone and designed to just blow your foot off. Magnetic detectors and radar are iffy at best since a minefield can have a mix of tank killers and foot killers.

  3. Martin Budden

    I can predict the results for Wales: soggy.

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