Remote Sensing Group Members
22 Jun 2017







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Dr Brian K​erridg​e


Following award of his doctorate from U.Oxford in 1985 and post-doc at NOAA Aeronomy Lab, Kerridge joined RAL in 1987. He established RAL's Remote-Sensing Group which has international standing in retrieving atmospheric constituent distributions from satellite observations. Kerridge was co-leader of NCEO's Atmospheric Composition Theme from 2007-12. In parallel he helped to define the future operational satellite system to monitor atmospheric composition through membership of advisory groups for EC, Eumetsat and ESA. Kerridge has lectured on ESA's advanced atmospheric training courses and has been a member of the Science Advisory Committee for the Space Research Organisation of Netherlands (SRON) since 2007. He is a visiting research fellow at U.Oxford and has associations with several other UK Universities, including co-supervision or examination of PhD students (Reading, Imperial and Leicester).​ 

Dr Richard Si​ddans


Dr Richard Siddans joined the Remote Sensing Group (RSG) at Rutherford Appleton Laboratory in 1994. He currently has the lead role in the group for development, application and exploitation of retrieval schemes for nadir sounding instruments as well as development of the advanced radiative transfer models which underpin this work. His remit includes leading-edge work on trace-gas distributions from spectrometers on Metop (GOME, IASI) as well as aerosol and cloud retrievals from multi-spectral imagers such as AATSR and SEVIRI. His work on height resolved ozone retrieval from ESA’s Global Ozone Monitoring Experiment (GOME-1) on ERS-2, delivered the first direct measurements of tropospheric ozone from space (reported in Nature). The work also formed the basis of his PhD from the University of Reading completed in 2003. He has also worked in the field of limb sounding, playing an instrumental role in several studies to develop the scientific case for the PREMIER mission, as well as supporting analysis of airborne mm-wave limb sounding observations (MARSCHALS). Dr Siddans has led a number of NERC, ESA and Eumetsat funded projects including studies related to GOME, MSG, and the new Sentinel missions. He is responsible for RAL’s contribution to ESA CCI-Ozone project and the development of the operational processors for Sentinels 5P, 4 and 5. 

​​Dr Caroline Poulsen​


I lead the aerosol and cloud section in the Remote Sensing Group in RAL space. My primary research interest is the development of state of the art optimal estimation retrieval schemes for aerosol and cloud from visible -> infrared passive satellites. The retrieval scheme (CC4CL/ORAC, has been applied in the ESA CCI programs to the polar orbiting satellite ATSR-2/AATSR/SLSTR, AVHRR and MODIS and can also be applied to geostationary instruments such as SEVRI and HIMAWARI–AHI.

​Research Interests

  • Climate records of cloud and aerosol properties from ATSR-2/AATSR/SLSTR
  • ESA CCI aerosol and cloud
  • Satellite retrievals of volcanic ash
  • Retrievals of cloud properties from visible/IR imagers
  • Retrievals of aerosol properties from visible/IR imagers
  • Validation and model comparisons of aerosol and cloud retrievals
  • Calibration of the ATSR/AATSR/SLSTR instruments
  • Cloud and aerosol interactions
  • TOA and surface fluxes
  • Development of PAR (Photosynthetic Active Radiation) and broad band flux calculations from aerosol and cloud products
  • Open source retrieval code


Dr Barry​ Latter


Dr Latter is responsible for the computing needs and large scale data production of the Remote Sensing Group (RSG), including developing its near-real time data system, producing ozone, methane and particulate data. Since joining the RSG in 1999, he has worked primarily on ozone profile retrievals from the UV/Visible GOME-class of sensors. The unique sensitivity, down to ground level, of the RAL world leading scheme (Miles et al. 2014) has led to its selection as the ESA CCI ozone nadir profile product and its inclusion in the Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S) ozone project. Dr Latter's work also includes collaboration with NCEO and international colleagues to compare satellite observations with model data that help and inform the development of both. Previous work has also included calibration/validation of these instruments (e.g. GOME-2 slit function calibration, radiometric cross-calibration and co-location with the ATSR series of instruments) as well as involvement with future mission studies.

Research Interests

  • Trace gas profile retrieval from Earth Observation satellites.
  • Retrieval of ozone profiles from UV-vis and IR instruments (G​OME, SCIAMACHY,GOME-2A/B, IASI-A/B).  See our ozone page for more information.
  • New satellite instruments and measurement techniques.
  • Near Real Time and Large scale data production (using the JASMIN-CEMS computing infrastructure).


Dr Gareth Th​omas


I am a research scientist with expertise in the measurement of aerosols. I have over 10 years' experience in the remote sensing of aerosol and cloud properties from satellites. My primary role in the Remote Sensing Group is the development and exploitation of algorithms to determine the properties of atmospheric aerosols from visible/infrared imaging instruments, using the ORAC retrieval scheme. I am also responsible for the production of large-scale datasets using these algorithms for climate monitoring (through the ESA Climate Change Initiative programme for example), air quality and regional environmental monitoring. 

I was educated at the University of Canterbury in Christchurch, New Zealand, and previously worked in the Atmospheric, Oceanic and Planetary Physics Sub-Department at the University of Oxford.  

Research Interests

  • Aerosol and cloud remote sensing from visible-IR satellite imagers (eg. ESA Aerosol_cci and Cloud_cci).
  • Detection and Characterisation of volcanic ash clouds from space.
  • Development of advanced analysis schemes for aerosol retrieval from new sensors with high temporal sampling (Meteosat 2nd and 3rd generation) and polarisation measurements (3MI, SPEX, MSPI).
  • Derivation of surface radiative fluxes for environmental primary products  (Photosynthetically Active Radiation) and the solar energy sector. 


​Dr Diane S. Knappett  


Within the Remote Sensing Group at RAL, my research focuses on the retrieval of atmospheric methane from the Infrared Atmospheric Sounding Interferometer (IASI) on board the space-borne MetOp platform. Through developing and running the IASI methane retrieval scheme I have produced the RAL IASI methane v1.0 dataset – an eight year global dataset of atmospheric methane which has been archived with the Centre for Environmental Data Analysis. In addition to performing offline processing, I have also implemented the IASI methane retrieval in near-real time, producing methane retrievals within 3 hours of an IASI measurement being made. Performing retrievals in near-real time facilitates the detection of methane emission events and can provide support to field measurement campaigns. 

Prior to working at RAL Space, I obtained my PhD from the Earth Observation Science group at the University of Leicester and worked within the Remote Sensing Group at Plymouth Marine Laboratory.

Research Interests

  • Thermal infrared (7.9 micron) retrievals of methane from IASI.
  • Development of short-wave infrared (3.7 micron) methane retrievals from IASI to achieve greater sensitivity to methane in the atmospheric boundary layer.
  • Identifying and attributing methane sources.


For more information please contact: RAL Space Enquiries