December 2019
Message 114

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[Met-jobs] Postdoc position: Aeolus Aerosol retrieval scientist at KNMI

From "Zadelhoff van, Gerd-Jan (KNMI)" <>
To "''" <>
Date Thu, 19 Dec 2019 08:52:05 +0000

The R&D Satellite observations department at KNMI is looking for an Aeolus Aerosol retrieval scientist (Postdoc).


The first space-borne Doppler high-spectral-resolution lidar (Aeolus) has recently been launched as part of ESA’s Earth Explorer program. This innovative and unique instrument focuses on the retrieval of wind profiles; however, other atmospheric parameters, like aerosol extinction profiles, will also be retrieved.


The accurate retrieval of global aerosol properties and their radiative effects remains an important challenge. Aerosol extinction profiles will be produced as part of the standard Aeolus level-2 processing. However, this product may lack sensitivity in low aerosol attenuation regions.


Under low aerosol conditions the lidar surface return relates directly to the surface backscatter and the atmospheric transmission, i.e. the integrated aerosol extinction (AOT). Over the oceans, the backscatter is a function of the surface winds, so that the AOT can be estimated using, e.g., ECMWF model fields. Alternatively, under low AOT conditions, the absolute 10-meter surface wind speed may be retrieved and compared to the HY-2B satellite retrievals and Aeolus Doppler signal.


The main duty of the successful candidate is to develop and test an Aeolus AOT retrieval algorithm based on lidar surface returns, to implement this algorithm into the respective operational processor and to create a corresponding AOT data set. Finally, the AOT products will be used in an aerosol assimilation study, in cooperation with an ongoing established activity at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam.


The topic of this vacancy is also closely related to the KNMI research activities for the ESA/JAXA EarthCARE satellite, to be launched in 2022. The EarthCARE satellite will have a lidar with similar specifications as the Aeolus lidar.


The successful candidate shall have several years’ experience with satellite data retrieval algorithms, preferably related to active instruments (lidar/radar). Experience with the creation of operational data processors is beneficial.



·         The contract will be for three years with a possible extension of two additional years pending the availability of funding


·         Applications are due on 6 January 2020.



Kind regards,


Gerd-Jan van Zadelhoff <>


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