Monitoring the composition of the Earth's atmosphere
Scientist satellite remote sensing at KNMI

 
On 1 June 2011 I returned to the Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute (KNMI), after having been there during 1999-2004 and at the Belgium Institute of Space Aeronomy (BIRA-IASB) during 2004-2009.
The research division I am in at KNMI is called Climate Observations.
 
[instrument logo] [satellite logo]

The satellite instrument TROPOMI ("Tropospheric Monitoring Instrument") is currently being developed by industrial parties for launch in 2015 on board of the European GMES Sentinel-5 Precursor satellite, and will act as the successor of OMI ("Ozone Monitoring Instrument") aboard the NASA satellite EOS-Aura (2004-present). KNMI has the scientific lead for the TROPOMI instrument and fulfils the role of Principal Investigator (PI) institute for this international mission, as it also does for OMI.
 
[measuring satellite] The TROPOMI mission objective is to monitor the troposphere for scientific research and in support of services to society. Measurements are taken down to the Earth's surface with sufficiently high resolution in both space and time, in order to be able to quantify anthropogenic and natural emissions, and to quantify atmospheric life cycles of trace gases and aerosol particles which have an impact on air quality and climate forcing from the regional to the global scale.
[Adapted from Dobber et al., 2008]
 
[OMI logo] For this TROPOMI mission I play a role in the team that works on the definition and development of the TROPOMI algorithms for trace gas, aerosol and cloud data products, and of the operational TROPOMI software. In addition to the development of new algorithms, this team also maintains and improves existing algorithms for OMI -- in close collaboration with the teams working with data from other satellite instruments (notably SCIAMACHY, GOME-2).

See for more information on the main projects:
 
[NO2 mean over Europe sept 2011]

Nitrogen dioxide (NO2)

My main focus is the algorithm for the retrieval of concentrations of nitrogen dioxidd (NO2), a key element of air quality issues -- NO2 in the atmosphere originates from anthropogenic (i.e. man-made) sources and from natural processes: fossil fuel combustion, biomass burning, soil release, lightning, etc.
The image on the right shows the NO2 concentration in the troposphere over Europe as derived from OMI measurements, averaged over September 2011.
[Source: TEMIS website]
[QA4ECV logo] For TROMOPI my work involves development of the algorithm, based on an existing NO2 algorithm for OMI. At the same time the OMI algorithm is being improved. This work is done in close with researchers from other institutes and within the framework of international projects. The work on NO2 for OMI and TROPOMI also connects me to the QA4ECV project.

See for more information on NO2, data and maps the TEMIS website.

 
[GLOBE program]

GLOBE project

In addition I play a supportive role in the KNMI contribution to the international GLOBE project regarding the topic "measurements of aerosol concentrations", helping e.g. with processing the data.
The Global Learning and Observations to Benefit the Environment (GLOBE) program is a worldwide hands-on, primary and secondary school-based science and education program. GLOBE's vision promotes and supports students, teachers and scientists to collaborate on inquiry-based investigations of the environment and the Earth system working [...] in study and research about the dynamics of Earth's environment.

[Source: The GLOBE program website]
Aerosols are small particles (dust, sand, etc.) and droplets floating in the air. Aerosols contribute to the greenhouse effect and climate change, and they can cause breathing problems. For this reason aerosol concentrations are monitored by satellite and ground based instruments. Within GLOBE pupils can contribute to the understanding of aerosol concentrations by taking daily measurements of the sunlight.

For GLOBE Netherlands KNMI coordinates the aerosol measurements and uses the data for comparisons with satellite measurements.

See for more information on GLOBE:

Educational material

Furthermore I have contributed to the educational material made by KNMI in relation to the GLOBE Aerosol activities. And I have contributed to material for "Earth Observation and Climate" workshops KNMI occasionally gives for schools, e.g. in the country-wide framework of science activities schools ("Wetenschapsweek" and such).


 


===> list of my publications about my post-doc. positions in atmospheric research.

See a separate page for the meaning of some acronyms.  

Place of work
[KNMI logo]
Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute (KNMI)
Climate Research and Seismology Department
Atmosphere and Climate Devision
P.O. Box 201
3730 AE   De Bilt
The Netherlands
visiting address:   Utrechtseweg 297, De Bilt
[KNMI logo]
   
By the way:
During the period June 2011 - May 2014 I was officially not employed by KNMI itself but by the KNMI-operated Stichting Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek (SWO; "Foundation for Scientific Research" in English).
Since 2 Sept. 2014 I am employed by KNMI -- via the Ministery of Infrastructure and Environment, of which KNMI is part (for contractual reasons there had to be a gap between the contracts).
 
[SWO logo]


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created: 26 May 2011
last modified: 29 Oktober 2014