Since more than a year ago, the Barcelona Expert Center (BEC) team researches on the capabilities of SMOS for the characterizations of the Cryosphere.
First maps of the Arctic Sea Ice concentration from SMOS data have been produced for the year 2014, with the algorithm explained bellow.
Two indices have been chosen to compute ice concentration: Angular Difference (AD=TBV(θ_2)-TBV(θ_1)) and Polarization Difference (PD=TBV-TBH). The sensitivity of those indices to ice salinity and temperature is much less (about 60%) than that of raw TB’s, but they are still quite sensitive to the physical state (sea or ice). This property is very convenient for the empirical characterization of the physical state, because the distribution of the geophysical parameters is not very well known (specially for the ice salinity).