Remote Sensing

Our scientists are among the world's foremost authorities on the development and use of remote sensing in weather, climate and the environment.  We research and develop the science and technology for remote sensing, which measures the changing characteristics of the Earth through sensors on satellites, aircraft and the ground.

Very few organizations match our expertise which spans the complete spectrum from the shortest (ultraviolet) to the longest (microwave) wavelengths, and from the surface to the upper reaches of the atmosphere. We enable scientists across the world measure and monitor the Earth’s environmental processes including the atmosphere and surface properties.

In addition to basic research, AER offers remote sensing solutions that include geophysical parameter retrieval algorithms to provide environmental parameters needed for diverse scientific, military and commercial applications. These include the design and development of new methods for determining cloud properties, temperature and moisture profiles, precipitation and surface properties such as emissivity, soil moisture, vegetation and snow cover.

Our end-to-end analysis capabilities include sensor design trade studies using leading edge sensor simulation and radiative transfer tools to evaluate retrieval performance. We are also uniquely positioned to evaluate how the measurements will impact data assimilation systems.


For 30+ years Atmospheric and Environmental Research (AER) has developed state-of-the-art algorithms for measuring, modeling, simulating and forecasting the Earth’s atmosphere state.

These algorithms, developed for national and international operational and research satellite programs, convert sensor/instrument measurements into geophysical parameters such as vertical temperature/water vapor profiles, estimates of cloud amount, type and phase, and land/ocean parameters such as sea surface winds, net heat flux, and forest fire intensity/extent.

AER works closely with government agencies as well as aerospace system integrators. As new sensors are developed that provide higher spatial and spectral resolution with lower noise, the expertise of our scientists will be instrumental in designing the sensors, validating their accuracy and precision, and ultimately using the sensors operationally.