Sensitivity analysis is critically needed to better understand the microwave emission model for soil moisture retrieval using passive microwave remote sensing data. The vegetation b-factor along with vegetation water content and surface characteristics has significant impact in model prediction. This study evaluates the sensitivity of the b-factor, which is function of vegetation type. The analysis is carried out using Passive and Active L and S-band airborne sensor (PALS) and measured field soil moisture from Southern Great Plains experiment (SGP99). The results show that the relative sensitivity of the b-factor is 86% in wet soil condition and 88% in high vegetated condition compared to the sensitivity of the soil moisture. Apparently, the b-factor is found to be more sensitive than the vegetation water content, surface roughness and surface temperature; therefore, the effect of the b-factor is fairly large to the microwave emission in certain conditions. Understanding the dependence of the b-factor on the soil and vegetation is important in studying the soil moisture retrieval algorithm, which can lead to potential improvements in model development for the Soil Moisture Active-Passive (SMAP) mission.