Postdoctoral Researcher: Satellite-Based Data Assimilation for Soil Moisture Estimation

Category : Model, position opening

We are searching for an enthusiastic postdoctoral researcher with experience in land surface modeling and/or data assimilation to implement advanced modules into an existing global land surface data assimilation system. You will be part of the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Division Soil and Water Management, at the KU Leuven (Belgium), working under the supervision of prof. Gabrielle De Lannoy.

Soil moisture is a key variable in the water, energy and carbon cycle over land. The objective of this project is to merge large-scale land surface simulations with satellite-based microwave observations, using an advanced data assimilation scheme which corrects for both the random and persistent errors in soil moisture estimates. The improved soil moisture time series will help enhancing subsequent predictions of flooding, landslides, soil and vegetation carbon, deeper groundwater and the atmospheric boundary layer.

Our team

Responsibilities
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- Perform and disseminate highly qualitative research related to land surface modeling, observation and data assimilation
- Possibly supervise PhD or master thesis students

Profile
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- PhD degree in Hydrology, Civil or Environmental Engineering, Meteorology, Remotely Sensed Earth Observation, Physics, Mathematics, Computer Sciences, or equivalent
- Experience with data-processing applications such as Matlab/Python, IDL,GrADS, R, or other
- Experience in programming and scientific computing
- Excellent motivation and grades
- Creative, critical, analytical and innovative mindset
- Ability to work independently
- Excellent written and oral communication skills in English, proven in publications

Offer
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- 2-year position with a competitive salary; support in career development
- Multi-disciplinary and international professional environment
- Leuven is a charming historical university town, located in the heart of Western Europe

Interested?
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Only persons matching the above profile should apply. Please submit your resume, along with a motivation letter and two names for references on-line. The start date is 1 June 2017, but earlier or later start dates can be negotiated. For more information please contact prof. Gabrielle De Lannoy, tel.: +32 16 37 67 13, mail: gabrielle.delannoy@kuleuven.be.

Apply for this job no later than 15 May, 2017 via the online application tool. The position will remain open until filled by an excellent candidate.

Position opening at CESBIO

Category : Non classé, position opening

Position opening at CESBIO

In the framework of the SMOS (Soil Moisture and Ocean Salinity) follow on mission, the Centre d’Etudes Spatiales de la BIOsphère (CESBIO) is opening a position. The duration is 12 months with a possible extension.

SMOS was launched in 2009 and has been running very smoothly ever since (see here or on this blog). SMOS relies on the use of a new instrument: a 2 D interferometer to achieve both adequate spatial and temporal sampling and operates at L Band. It was followed by two other satellites SMAP and Aquarius with different observation modes but always operating at L band.

With these missions in flight, a wealth of science and applications has been derived ranging from hurricane or thin sea ice monitoring to drought or flood forecasting or climate monitoring.

It is however time to envision how to replace aging satellites and for this purpose the European Space Agency (ESA) initiated a study to define users’ requirements at low frequency passive microwaves.

The study was awarded to a European consortium led by CESBIO.  In this context CESBIO is opening a position to contribute to this project.

The role of the applicant is to basically participate within the consortium to the making of the project in the two main aspects:

Support management and coordination:

  • establish and operate web pages portal for both internal and external communication and management of the project activities
  • report and documentation
  • organise science meeting and write the related reports
  • liaise with ESA and the international members of the project

Support for technical studies depending on his skill:

  • contribute to establishing a list of the different products supported by L-Band measurements together with their accuracies and feasibility/ maturity from input of the community
  • Translate and trace requirements from science end users to requirements for geophysical parameters, and to passive L-Band products.
  • Contribute to a “cluster analysis” of products and applications according to their key requirements, like temporal and spatial resolution and radiometric accuracy
  • perform simulations to assess requirements when needed

Applicants should possibly hold a Ph.D. degree in remote sensing or should have equivalent experience in space research and in physics and geophysics. They should have good communication skills. The applicant should be fluent in English (written and spoken). A good practice is a plus. The applicant should have excellent  writing skills for reporting and documentation.

The work will take place within the SMOS team of CESBIO (Toulouse) and in collaboration with INRA (Bordeaux), several other teams in Italy, Spain, Switzerland, Finland, Portugal, as well ESA (Noordwijck NL) and CNES (Toulouse France).

Salary: Gross: about 2100 euros / month, depending on qualification and experience

Duration: 12 months minimum

Applications (application letter + CV+2 references) should be sent to Yann Kerr (Yann.kerr@cesbio.cnes.fr; phone: 05 61 55 85 22)

PhD Position at isardSAT

Category : position opening

isardSAT are looking for a candidate for a « Industrial Doctorate » on the estimation of root zone soil moisture from remote sensing data.

The applicant will work at isardSAT, a remote sensing company based in Barcelona, Spain. The academic institution responsible for the doctorate is the Ebro Observatory (Ramon Llull University), located in Tortosa (Tarragona province). The PhD will be involved in the H2020-RISE REC project (rec.isardSAT.com).

The doctorate depends on funding by the Spanish government, which depends on the quality of both, the candidate and the project.

Further details of the project and the profile of the desired candidate in the isardSAT_Doctorat_Industrial_2017

Poisition at LTHE Grenoble France

Category : position opening

CDD (12 mois) sur financement CNES « Mise en place d’un produit satellite temps-réel d’anomalie d’humidité du sol et de rendement des cultures en Afrique »

Laboratoire d’étude des Transferts en Hydrologie et Environnement (LTHE), Grenoble

La gestion des risques climatiques liés à la production agricole, demeure encore le principal défi en Afrique de l’Ouest. Ces risques incluent des précipitations irrégulières, de longues périodes de sècheresse, des débuts tardifs et fins précoces des saisons pluvieuses. Le changement climatique vient encore accentuer ces risques et rend le secteur agricole encore plus vulnérable (GIEC, 2013).

En Afrique de l’ouest, et particulièrement en zone sahélienne, le facteur limitant le rendement des cultures est la quantité d’eau disponible dans les sols (Churkina and Running, 1998). Le travail proposé dans le cadre du CDD consistera à utiliser les mesures micro-onde du satellite SMOS (Soil Moisture and Ocean Salinity), disponibles depuis 6 ans, afin de proposer un produit opérationnel d’anomalie d’humidité du sol et de rendement des cultures en Afrique sahélienne. Les prédictions de rendements constituent un enjeu important pour tous les pays de la bande sahélienne où le centre AGRHYMET s’appuie sur ces prédictions pour déclencher si besoin la mise en place de l’aide alimentaire. La cartographie de ces prédictions peut également permettre le développement de produits d’assurances agricoles (assurances indicielles), qui sont de plus en plus considérés comme des outils d’adaptation au changement climatique. L’originalité de l’approche proposée consiste à se baser sur une mesure du contenu en eau du sol, qui constitue l’eau efficace pour la croissance des cultures, et non sur les taux de précipitations ou des indices de végétation plus fréquemment utilisés, les premiers n’étant pas toujours corrélés aux besoins effectifs de la végétation, et les deuxièmes trop peu sensibles à la productivité de grains de la plante.

Une chaine de traitement a été développée au LTHE à Grenoble. Le procédé consiste à assimiler les données du satellite SMOS dans un schéma de surface pour dresser des cartes d’humidité du sol à 5 cm de profondeur, puis à en déduire l’humidité à différentes profondeurs (30, 60, 90 cm). Ces cartes permettent ensuite de visualiser, pour une date donnée, les zones en excès ou en déficit d’eau. Les premiers résultats montrent qu’une connaissance de l’humidité du sol à 30 cm de profondeur est un très bon indicateur du rendement agricole du mil au Niger (Gibon et al., 2016).

Le travail du CDD consistera à rendre opérationnel la chaine de traitement afin que des cartes d’anomalies d’humidité du sol à différentes profondeurs soient disponibles sur internet en temps quasi-réel (5 jours de délai). Une mise en place sur une application mobile est également prévue. Dans un deuxième temps, le CDD devra mettre au point des relations statistiques entre l’humidité du sol et le rendement de différentes cultures. Enfin, une amélioration de la résolution spatiale des produits est souhaitée. Cette dernière étape nécessitera l’utilisation d’une mesure satellite supplémentaire de température de surface pour permettre de réduire la résolution de 25×25 km² à 1 km².

Le candidat devra disposer de solides connaissances en informatique (sous Linux), et des compétences en création de site web et applications mobiles.

Début du stage souhaité en novembre 2016. Rémunération sur la base IE du CNRS.

Contact : Thierry PELLARIN (thierry.pellarin@univ-grenoble-alpes.fr)

Références :

Gibon F., T. Pellarin, S. Traore, C. Baron, D. Lo Seen, A. Alhassane, Potential of Soil Moisture to monitor millet yield in Niger, from local to regional scale, submitted to IEEE Journal of selected topics in applied earth observations and remote sensing, 2016

Churkina, G., & Running, S.W. (1998). Contrasting climatic controls on the estimated productivity of global terrestrial biomes. Ecosystems, 1, 206-215

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