The Center for the Study of the Biosphere from Space (CESBIO) is a french laboratory that aims to develop knowledge on continental biosphere dynamics and functioning at various temporal and spatial scales.
In order to achieve the spatial resolution required for observing soil moisture and ocean salinity, a Microwave Imaging Radiometer with Aperture Synthesis (MIRAS) instrument was developed. Here the size of the antenna needed has been simulated through 69 small antennas, distributed over the three arms and central hub of the instrument.
The three deployable arms are folded up for launch, but once SMOS is in orbit each of the arms fold out into an unusual three-pointed star shape. Hence, with a diameter of eight metres, MIRAS is often dubbed a ‘star in the sky’.
The 69 antenna elements, called LICEFs, are antenna-receiver integrated units, each measure radiation emitted from Earth’s surface at L-band. One LICEF antenna weighs 190 g, is 165 mm in diameter and 19 mm high.
These measures are performed on a frequency band where emissions are not allowed. Nevertheless, many “pirates” emissions seriously disturb the captured signals, generating big brightness spots (outliers) on the transformed images.
The aim of this project is to develop algorithms to detect and delete the outliers, obtaining a processed image with those outliers removed (and the original data on these regions recovered).