Research Engineer in Remote Sensing: Characterising Uncertainties in Satellite Sea Surface Salinity

Category : Ocean, position opening

A research engineer position is open at the Laboratoire d’Océanographie et du Climat – Expérimentation et Approches Numériques (LOCEAN)/ Institut Pierre Simon Laplace (IPSL), PARIS, starting as soon as possible. The position is open for one year, renewable for 2 years depending on the candidate performance.


The SMOS (Soil Moisture and Ocean Salinity) mission is the first Earth-observing satellite mission carrying an L-band radiometer interferometer. Since its launch at the end of 2009, it has acquired more than 8 years of data that demonstrate the feasibility of the sea surface salinity retrieved by satellite with remarkable spatial resolution compared to other techniques. It has also opened new research perspectives. This unique 8-year salinity time series has permitted unique analyses of salinity variability, linked to oceanic meso-scale and to El Niño type events. Two other satellite missions, Aquarius (2011-2015, CONAE/NASA) and SMAP (2015-, NASA), also based on L-band radiometry, have been providing complementary synoptic salinity measurements leading to an unprecedented spatial coverage. Nevertheless, uncertainties on retrieved salinities differ depending on the radiometer type, the observation geometry, the calibration method, and on the direct and inverse models.

The LOCEAN team is involved since 1999 in the definition of the direct and inverse models applicable to SMOS and in the calibration-validation of the SMOS measurements. It is recognized as SMOS expert support laboratory by the European Spatial Agency (ESA) and by the Centre Aval de Traitement des Données SMOS funded by Centre National d’Etudes Spatiales (CNES). The selected candidate will join the LOCEAN team involved in the physics of the L-band radiometry, in the satellite salinity validation and in the understanding of responsible processes for the observed differences between satellites and in situ measurements, in particular those associated with air-sea interactions, vertical stratification and small-scale variability ( and

Work details :

- Characterization of uncertainties of satellite salinity products based on intercomparisons of the various satellite products and comparisons with in situ measurements. This work will be based on existing tools that the selected engineer will adapt to focus on case studies allowing the identification of the uncertainties origin. It will be performed in strong collaboration with researchers and engineers of the LOCEAN SMOS team.

- SMOS data processor development assessment in collaboration with the engineers and researchers in charge of its evolution. Participation to regular progress meetings (teleconferences) of CATDS (2-3 per year).

- Support to users (in French and English)

-Writing of technical papers and participation to scientific papers is possible, depending on the obtained results.

Required Skills:

-       Physics of satellite measurement

-       Data statistical analysis and critical interpretation of the results

-       Autonomy and team collaborative working

-       Python / Matlab ; LINUX

-       Interest in team software development: object-oriented programming, code refactoring & automated testing (e.g. pytest), version control (e.g. Git), code documentation.

Appreciated Skills:

-       Optimization for large dataset processing

-       Interest for environmental science

-       French and English

Level: Research Engineer (PhD thesis or equivalent). Master 2 in remote sensing will also be considered.

Address : LOCEAN, Sorbonne Université, Tour 45-55, 5E, 4, place Jussieu, 75005 PARIS, FRANCE.

Salary : about 1900E monthly net, commensurable with qualification and experience of the candidate (CNRS salary grid)

Candidates should send a statement of interest, CV and coordinates of 2 referees to  Jacqueline Boutin ( and Dimitry Khvorostyanov ( ).

L Band Continuation workshop is on at CESBIO

Category : Non classé

Hello all

The L band continuation workshop is currently underway at CESBIO the agenda is

Yesterday, the presentations and exchanges were put on line by Ahmad and can be seen here.

We will continue today…

What’s next?

Category : Data, Satellite

Dear reader of this blog.

As you are well aware SMOS and SMAP (and Aquarius for that matter) are delivering excellent data, demonstrating every day the usefulness and uniqueness of L Band data for monitoring certain facets of our planet. Moreover, many operational or pre-operational applications are emerging. The sad thing is that our dear satellites are like us, they don’t get younger with time. … and no follow on L Band radiometers are currently decided. We are thus facing a severe data gap if a follow-on is not very soon set up.

Actually the situation is getting somewhat critical and i am convinced we should get moving quite soon on this critical issue.

I thought that we could use this forum to highlight the areas the expression of needs for L band radiometry. If you have interesting elements let me know!

In the mean time see 6 years of global soil moisture as prepared by Ali Mahmoodi with 6 years of  SMOS data.anim-sm-6y

Monthly evolution of soil moisture for teh first 6 years of SMOS (2010-2015)

2015 Aquarius / SAC-D / Ocean Salinity Science Team (OSST) Meeting

Category : Ocean, Satellite

2015 Aquarius / SAC-D / Ocean Salinity Science Team (OSST) Meeting

10th Aquarius / SAC-D Joint Science Team Meeting

17-19 November 2015
Buenos Aires, Argentina

Friends and Colleagues, Estimados amigos y colegas,

Please mark your calendars:

In the wake of the loss of Aquarius/SAC-D in early June, the Principal Investigators and Program Scientists have decided to proceed with convening an Aquarius/SAC-D science meeting Buenos Aires, 17-19 November 2015 (Tues, Weds, Thurs).   Our objectives for the science team meeting are to review the many ongoing and concluding Aquarius and SAC-D science projects and to survey the development of ocean research in the South Atlantic in terms of observing systems, models, products, and services.   The agenda will allot approximately one day each to SAC-D, Aquarius and South Atlantic studies.

A call for abstracts will be circulated next week.

The general announcement is available at

Click “General Information” to download a fact sheet on venue, travel and lodging.

Best regards to all, Un cálido saludo para todos,

Gary Lagerloef and Sandra Torrusio

Aquarius and SAC-D Principal Investigators

download wordpress themes