Sensor Calibration Scientist

ESSIC and the Cooperative Institute for Climate & Satellites-Maryland (CICS) of University of Maryland, College Park, is seeking a sensor calibration scientist.


Date posted

May 22, 2019 12:00 am

Application deadline

July 22, 2019 12:00 am


Earth System Science Interdisciplinary Center (ESSIC)


  • United States

Job description

Scientist to Support VIIRS SDR Cal/Val Activities

Department: UMD/ESSIC/CICS 
Starting Salary: Commensurate with experience 
Closing Date: Friday, June 28, 2019 


ESSIC and the Cooperative Institute for Climate & Satellites-Maryland (CICS) of University of Maryland, College Park, is seeking a sensor calibration scientist to support the Calibration/Validation work of Visible-Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) instrument onboard Suomi NPP and NOAA-20 satellites.
Position Summary:
The sensor calibration scientist will primarily work on the VIIRS Sensor Data Records (SDR) as a member of the NOAA/NESDIS/STAR VIIRS SDR team. VIIRS is an imaging radiometer with spatial resolutions of 750 and 375 meters covering 0.4 to 12.1 um spectral range, as well as a panchromatic Day/Night band, onboard Suomi NPP and NOAA-20/JPSS satellites, and planned for the Joint Polar Satellite System (JPSS)-2, -3 and -4 satellites. The VIIRS SDR team has the responsibility ensuring the high quality geo-located and calibrated radiometric data, aka, the sensor data record (SDR).
The candidate will analyze VIIRS SDR data and support the calibration and validation of moderate resolution and imagery data of VIIRS onboard SNPP and NOAA-20/J1. The candidate will perform inter-sensor co-location prediction and SDR comparison for radiometric quality assurance, instrument performance monitoring, and anomaly investigation. The candidate will also develop and maintain dynamic web contents to enable the sensor performance monitoring.
The candidate is expected to contribute to the following activities:
Support the Suomi NPP and NOAA-20 VIIRS SDR calibration/validation through:
  • Routinely analyze the co-located VIIRS instrument measurements relative to other LEO sensors to evaluate the radiometric bias.
  • Perform double differencing with LEO sensor as a reference to quantify the radiometric consistency of NOAA-20 VIIRS relative to SNPP.
  • Support Geostationary and LEO sensor inter-calibration for both reflective solar bands and thermal emissive bands.
  • Evaluate the calibration quality of NOAA-20 VIIRS relative to SNPP VIIRS through double differencing using geostationary instrument as a reference.
  • Develop web-contents for routine monitoring of VIIRS radiometric and geolocation performance.
  • Develop, improve, implement and test methodologies for the radiometric, spectral, and geometric calibration and validation of VIIRS observatio
  • Develop, test and evaluate the different components of the operational VIIRS SDR calibration algorithm.
  • Investigate, monitor and derive solutions for potential anomalies related to VIIRS instruments.
  • Publish research results in peer-reviewed journals and participate in conferences.


 A Master's degree (Ph.D. preferred) in Atmospheric Sciences, Geophysics, Aerospace/Electric Engineering, Remote Sensing, Physics or a related Physical Science.

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