ECO_L3T_SM v002

ECOSTRESS Tiled Downscaled Soil Moisture Instantaneous L3 Global 70 m

PI: Simon Hook, Gregory Halverson


The ECOsystem Spaceborne Thermal Radiometer Experiment on Space Station (ECOSTRESS) mission measures the temperature of plants to better understand how much water plants need and how they respond to stress. ECOSTRESS is attached to the International Space Station (ISS) and collects data globally between 52° N and 52° S latitudes. A map of the acquisition coverage can be found on the ECOSTRESS website.

The ECOSTRESS Tiled Downscaled Soil Moisture Instantaneous L3 Global 70 m (ECO_L3T_SM) Version 2 data product provides instantaneous soil moisture (SM) estimates downscaled using linear regression. The linear regression uses up-sampled surface temperature (ST), normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI), and albedo as predictor variables and SM from Goddard Earth Observing System Version 5 (GEOS-5) Forward Processing (FP) as response variables for their relative outputs. Once the regression coefficients have been determined, they are applied to the 70 meter (m) ST, NDVI, and albedo as a first pass, which is then bias corrected using a GEOS-5 FP image. The downscaled soil moisture estimates are recorded into the ECO_L3T_SM data product and tiled using a modified version of the Military Grid Reference System (MGRS), which divides Universal Transverse Mercator (UTM) zones into square tiles that are 109.8 km by 109.8 km with a 70 m spatial resolution.

The ECO_L3T_SM Version 2 data product is provided in Cloud Optimized GeoTIFF (COG) format, and each band is distributed as a separate COG. This product contains three layers including SM, cloud mask, and water mask.

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Collection and Granule


Characteristic Description
File Size~2 MB
Temporal ResolutionVaries
Temporal Extent2018-07-09 to Present
Spatial ExtentGlobal (+/- 52 degrees latitude)
Coordinate SystemUniversal Transverse Mercator (UTM)
DatumWorld Geodetic System (WGS84)
File FormatCloud Optimized GeoTIFF (COG)
Geographic Dimensions109.8 km x 109.8 km


Characteristic Description
Number of Science Dataset (SDS) Layers3
Columns/Rows1568 x 1568
Pixel Size70 m

Layers / Variables

SDS Name Description Units Data Type Fill Value No Data Value Valid Range Scale Factor
SM Soil Moisture Ratio 32-bit floating point NaN N/A 0 to 1 N/A
Cloud Cloud Mask N/A 8-bit unsigned integer 255 N/A 0,1 N/A
Water Water Mask N/A 8-bit unsigned integer 255 N/A 0,1 N/A

Cloud Mask Values

Class Description
0 Clear
1 Cloudy

Water Mask Values

Class Description
0 Land
1 Water

Product Quality

Quality information for the ECO_L3T_SM data product is described in Section 5.4 of the ATBD.

Known Issues

  • Data acquisition gap: ECOSTRESS was launched on June 29, 2018, and moved to autonomous science operations on August 20, 2018, following a successful in-orbit checkout period. On September 29, 2018, ECOSTRESS experienced an anomaly with its primary mass storage unit (MSU). ECOSTRESS has a primary and secondary MSU (A and B). On December 5, 2018, the instrument was switched to the secondary MSU, and science operations resumed. On March 14, 2019, the secondary MSU experienced a similar anomaly, temporarily halting science acquisitions. On May 15, 2019, a new data acquisition approach was implemented, and science acquisitions resumed. To optimize the new acquisition approach, only Thermal Infrared (TIR) bands 2, 4, and 5 are being downloaded. The data products are the same as before, but the bands not downloaded contain fill values (L1 radiance and L2 emissivity). This approach was implemented from May 15, 2019, through April 28, 2023.

  • Data acquisition gap: From February 8 to February 16, 2020, an ECOSTRESS instrument issue resulted in a data anomaly that created striping in band 4 (10.5 micron). These data products have been reprocessed and are available for download. No ECOSTRESS data were acquired on February 17, 2020, due to the instrument being in SAFEHOLD. Data acquired following the anomaly have not been affected.

  • Data acquisition: ECOSTRESS has now successfully returned to 5-band mode after being in 3-band mode since 2019. This feature was successfully enabled following a Data Processing Unit firmware update (version 4.1) to the payload on April 28, 2023. To better balance contiguous science data scene variables, 3-band collection is currently being interleaved with 5-band acquisitions over the orbital day/night periods.

About the image

ECOSTRESS soil moisture (SM) layer from ECO_L3T_SM product, acquired over New Mexico, United States, on October 21, 2023.

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User Guide
Algorithm Theoretical Basis Document (ATBD)

Using the Data

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