TW3 - Remote sensing of the Earth from space

Event Dates: 3rd-7th October 2011
Location: Paris Observatory (Meudon site), France
Organisers: Dr Filipe Aires, Estellus, France
ECTS Point Allocation: 3

The GREENCYCLESII Training Workshop 3 on remote sensing was held in the Paris Observatory (Meudon site) from 3-7 October 2011. 10 GREENCYCLESII Fellows and 8 non-Network Participants participated in activities covering various topics including the remote sensing of continental surfaces, atmosphere, and ocean. The participants also looked at the variational assimilation in numerical weather prediction centres and applied mathematics for remote sensing (inverse problems).

The participants undertook various practical sessions using Matlab. An agenda and list of speakers who presented at the event can be found attached to this report.

At the end of the week, the GREENCYCLESII participants stayed on in Paris and were joined by the rest of their GREENCYCLESII colleagues to attend the Mid-Term Review Meeting from the 10 – 11 October.

Date Morning Afternoon
Catherine Prigent, LERMA
Introduction to satellite remote sensing, microwave, surface and atmosphere.Remote sensing in the infra-red/visible,geostationary satellites, surface properties
Raymond Armante, LMD
Introduction to the direct and inverse radiative transfer in the infra-red
Isabel Trigo, Eumetsat SAF
Remote sensing in the infrared/visible,geostationary satellites, surface properties
Isabel Trigo, Eumetsat SAF
Practical (Matlab), retrieval of surface temperature
Filipe Aires, Estellus
Inverse problems, retrieval methodologies
Hervé JeanJean, EU
The European Earth monitoring programme(GMES): towards operational and sustainable services
Jacqueline Boutin, LOCEAN
Remote sensing over the oceans, SMOS.
Laurence Eymard, LOCEAN
Remote sensing of the water cycle in the Tropics, application for AMMA

Steve English, ECMWF
Techniques and issues for assimilation of satellite observations at ECMWF, Met Office and CPTEC


Filipe Aires is presently at Estellus, a spin-up from Institute Pierre Simon Laplace and Paris Observatory. He holds a research scientist position at Laboratoire de Meteorologie Dynamique of CNRS. He was research scientist at the Goddard Institute for Space Studies of NASA / Columbia University for 5 years. His research interests focus on satellite remote sensing of the Earth and statistical analysis of the climate. Earlier works include the analysis of inter-annual climatic processes or the definition of new tools for the characterization of climate feedback. He has developed numerous multi-instrument and multi-parameter remote sensing algorithms. The parameters retrieved include atmospheric variables such as temperature, water vapour and ozone atmospheric profiles, and surface variables such as skin temperature, vegetation indices, microwave emissivities, wetlands, soil moisture, etc. Instruments involved in these remote sensing studies include AMSU, MHS, SSM/I, IASI, ERS, TOVS and GOME II. He was co-I in the French-Indian mission Megha-ropiques for which he developed the operational water vapour retrieval scheme. He is currently studying soil moisture/wetlands, the infrared/microwave synergy for the remote sensing over continents, and the analysis of weather-risks in insurance. He has published more than 45 articles in high-ranking international scientific journals.

Raymond Armante has received his PhD in physics in 1992 on the “Determination of concentration profiles from a limb viewing instrument (GRILLE spectrometer developed at ONERA) on board the space shuttle during the ATLAS-1 mission ». He is engineer in the ARA (Atmospheric Radiation Analysis) team at “Laboratoire de Météorologie Dynamique” of CNRS since 1996. He is in charge of the InfraRed radiative transfer algorithms developed in the group (4AOP, Stransac). He works also on the retrieval of climate parameters (Temperature, water vapour, CO2, etc.) from infrared instruments such as TOVS, AIRS, IASI or ACE-FTS.

Jacqueline Boutin is presently at LOCEAN at CNRS / Université Pierre et Marie Curie of Paris where she heads the SURF group. Her research activity includes satellite and in situ observations of physical and biogeochemical related processes at the air-sea interface. She is PI in ADEOS2 (NASDA/NASA) project "Air sea CO2 flux monitoring and process studies", PI in an ENVISAT project (ESA) "Air sea CO2 flux in the Southern Ocean" and Co-I in the "Soil Moisture and Ocean Salinity" satellite (ESA). She has 42 papers published in reviewed journals.

Stephen English gained his D.Phil in microwave remote sensing from Oxford University in 1991 and then spent 4 years working with microwave radiometers on the Met Office C-130 aircraft. He then moved to head the Met Office group responsible for assimilation of sounding and imager infrared and microwave radiances in a variational assimilation system. He remained there until 2010 when he left to spend a year at CPTEC in Brazil, as scientific head of their assimilation group, working with the local ensemble transform Kalman filter. In July 2011 he returned to the UK to become head of the satellite section of ECWMF.

Hervé Jean-Jean has been working at the GMES Bureau of the European Commission as a Seconded National Expert since 2009. His task is to provide technical support to the Commission for the definition and implementation of the GMES programme, in particular on the space and the service component. Between 2000 and 2009, he was appointed as programme manager on land biosphere at CNES (French Space Agency) and was leading national Earth observation programs under bilateral and international cooperation in the field of terrestrial environment, addressing Earth science and operational applications. Graduated in agricultural, forestry and environmental engineering, Hervé Jeanjean acquired scientific and technical experience through more than 50 research and development projects that he carried out as project leader in Europe and in the developing world, e.g. in Africa and in Southeast Asia. Catherine Prigent has focused her research over the past 25 years on satellite remote sensing of the Earth. She is senior scientist at CNRS and head of the Remote Sensing group at Laboratoire d'Etude du Rayonnement et de la Matière en Astrophysique (LERMA), Observatoire de Paris. Her early work included the modeling of sea surface emissivity at microwave frequencies and the estimation of atmospheric parameters over the oceans. At present, her main interest is on the estimation of land and ocean surface parameters from multi-satellite microwave observations, for global applications. Retrieved products include globally derived land emissivities from the SSM/I and AMSU instruments, an “all weather” determination of skin temperature together with its diurnal variations, and first estimates of the wetland extent dynamics at global scale. She is also involved in satellite remote sensing of convective cloud structures from analysis of passive microwave observations and is active in the development of millimeter and sub-millimeter instruments for future satellite missions, on both polar and geostationary orbits. She is the author of more than 60 papers in international journals, covering a large range of Earth remote sensing applications.

Isabel F. Trigo received her B.S. and M.S. degrees in Geophysical Sciences from the University of Lisbon in 1993 and 1997, respectively. She received her PhD degree in Climatology in 2000 from the University of East Anglia, UK. Her research is focused on the retrieval of biogeophysical parameters over land, particularly on applications of EUMETSAT satellites – the geostationary series and polar-orbiter, MetOp. She has been appointed the Scientific Coordinator of the EUMETSAT Land-SAF (Satellite Application Facility) in Lisbon/Portugal since 2007.


  1. Miral Shah,LGGE, France – GC
  2. László Hunor Hajdu, University of Cambridge, UK – GC
  3. Daniela Dalmonech, Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry, Germany – GC
  4. Callum Berridge, Vrije Universiteit, Netherlands – GC
  5. Colleen O’Brien, Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule Zürich, Switzerland – GC
  6. Gerardo López Saldaña, Technical University of Lisbon, Portugal – GC
  7. Ioannis Bistinas, Technical University of Lisbon, Portugal – GC
  8. Jorge Martinez-Rey, LSCE, France – GC
  9. Jana Kolassa, Estellus, France – GC
  10. Katherine Crichton, LGGE, France – GC
  11. Ana Bastos, Instituto de Meteorologia University Lisbon, Portugal
  12. Sofia Ermida, Instituto de Meteorologia University Lisbon, Portugal
  13. Rajesh Kumar Pandey, Legos, France
  14. James Mathew Barlow, University of Edinburgh, UK
  15. Sandra Steinke, University of Cologne, Germany
  16. Maxime Paul, LERMA Observatoire de Paris, France
  17. Victoria Galligani, LERMA Observatoire de Paris, France
  18. Maximilian Maahn, University of Cologne, Germany