The aim of this work is to exploit the potential of AMSR2 for hydrological applications on a regional scale and in heterogeneous environments characterised by different surface covers at subpixel resolution. The soil moisture content (SMC) estimated from Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer 2 (AMSR2) through the ANN-based “HydroAlgo” algorithm is firstly compared with the outputs of the Soil Water Balance hydrological model (SWBM). The comparison is performed over Italy, by considering all the available overpasses of AMSR2, since July 2012. The SMC generated by HydroAlgo is then considered as input for generating a rainfall product through the SM2RAIN algorithm. The comparison between observed and estimated rainfall in central Italy provided satisfactory results with a substantial room for improvement.
In this work, the ANN “HydroAlgo” algorithm , which was originally developed for AMSR-E, was adapted and re-trained for AMSR2, accounting for the two C band channels provided by this new sensor. The disaggregation technique implemented in HydroAlgo , devoted to the improvement of ground resolution, made this algorithm particularly suitable for the application to such a heterogeneous environment. The algorithm allows obtaining a SMC product with enhanced spatial resolution (0.1°), which is more suitable for hydrological applications. The AMSR2 derived SMC is compared with simulated data obtained from the application of a well-established soil water balance model . The training and test of the algorithm are carried out on a test area in central Italy, while the entire Italy is considered for the validation.
The last step of the activity is the use of the HydroAlgo SMC into the SM2RAIN algorithm , in order to exploit the potential contribution of this product at enhanced resolution for rainfall estimation.
 E. Santi, S. Pettinato, S. Paloscia, P. Pampaloni, G. Macelloni, and M. Brogioni (2012), “An algorithm for generating soil moisture and snow depth maps from microwave spaceborne radiometers: HydroAlgo”, Hydrology and Earth System Sciences, 16, pp. 3659-3676, doi:10.5194/hess-16-3659-2012.
 E. Santi (2010), “An application of SFIM technique to enhance the spatial resolution of microwave radiometers”, Intern. J. Remote Sens., vol. 31, 9, pp. 2419-2428.
 L. Brocca, S. Camici, F. Melone, T. Moramarco, J. Martinez-Fernandez, J.-F. Didon-Lescot, R. Morbidelli (2014), “Improving the representation of soil moisture by using a semi-analytical infiltration model”, Hydrological Processes, 28(4), pp. 2103-2115, doi:10.1002/hyp.9766.
 Brocca, L., Ciabatta, L., Massari, C., Moramarco, T., Hahn, S., Hasenauer, S., Kidd, R., Dorigo, W., Wagner, W., Levizzani, V. (2014). Soil as a natural rain gauge: estimating global rainfall from satellite soil moisture data. Journal of Geophysical Research, 119(9), 5128-5141, doi:10.1002/2014JD021489.