The European Space Agency’s (ESA) soil moisture and ocean salinity (SMOS) satellite has recently succeeded in its flight acceptance review.

The review ensures that all mission elements including the launcher and interfaces with the satellite are ready for launch.

It also checks whether flight operations to control the satellite in orbit, calibration activities and data processing functions are in place.

SMOS, also known as ESA’s water mission, will make observations of soil moisture over Earth’s landmasses and salinity over the oceans using a new instrument – microwave imaging radiometer using aperture synthesis.

Data from the satellite will improve weather and climate models and will be applied in agriculture and water resource management to enable a better understanding of the water cycle.

The satellite expected to be launched later this year will be shipped to its launch site in Russia.