Science Systems and Applications, Inc. - Science and Technology with Passion


SSAI is an Equal Employment Opportunity and Affirmative Action Employer.
EEO/AA - Minorities/Females/Disable/Veterans

Research Scientist, Microwave Remote Sensing
Reference #:17-2170
Open Date:10/20/2017
Location:Greenbelt, MD
US Citizenship Required:No
Job Description:

SSAI has an opening for Scientists to support research related to passive microwave remote sensing of soil moisture. Soil moisture is a key hydrologic variable that controls the Earth’s water and energy balance.  L-band microwave observations provide the optimum all-weather day-night observations to estimate surface soil moisture remotely.  Passive microwave (brightness temperature) measurements from NASA’s Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) and ESA’s Soil Moisture and Ocean Salinity (SMOS) missions are used along with a variety of ancillary data in radiative transfer-based algorithms to estimate soil moisture at various resolutions.  Research in support of this task will involve conducting different analyses to understand the performance of SMAP microwave soil moisture retrieval algorithms and to assess the accuracy of the retrieved soil moistures with the ultimate goal of improving microwave retrieval algorithms.  The current L-band radiometers (SMAP and SMOS) provide a spatial resolution of about 40 km, yet future Earth science needs are anticipated to be in the 1-10 km range for many hydrologic and agricultural applications.  Thus, this research opportunity may also include developing methodologies to improve the spatial resolution of accurate soil moisture retrievals from L-band missions in space. Additional duties include preparing presentations and/or posters for meetings and scientific conferences and contributing to the writing and submission of journal articles.

Required Qualifications:
  • Ph.D. degree in a scientific discipline required.  
  • Knowledge of basic physical principles involved in microwave remote sensing and/or microwave radiative transfer/electromagnetic theory.
  • Knowledge of tools and software for the processing and analysis of satellite and/or airborne microwave data.
Desired Qualifications:
  • Experience with a range of passive and active microwave sensor systems, different frequencies and technologies a plus.
  • Knowledge of/experience with electromagnetic modeling for land surface parameters, particularly its implementation in microwave retrieval algorithms.
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills.