Remote Sensing Group at RAL Space
20 Nov 2015



RAL Space's Remote Sensing Group (RSG) has international standing in satellite sounding of atmospheric composition, founded on core expertise in radiative transfer modelling and retrieval scheme development.



Credit: RAL Space

​Through UK's National Centre for Earth Observation (NCEO) the Group has:

  • pioneered the retrieval of tropospheric ozone and height-resolved methane from satellite UltraViolet (UV) and InfraRed (IR) sounders, respectively, and the joint retrieval of water vapour, temperature, ozone and surface spectral emissivity from co-located observations by IR and microwave sounders.
  • developed a state-of-the-art scheme with Oxford University partners to retrieve aerosol and cloud from satellite VIS/IR imagers and to derive radiative fluxes.

These schemes are being applied in NCEO, ESA's Climate Change Initiative and EC's Copernicus Climate Change Service to produce multi-year global data sets for climate monitoring and research. Current developments are to resolve ozone and methane near the surface and to derive photosynthetically active radiation and particulate matter from retrieved aerosol to extend the range of applications.

A near-real time satellite data processing system has been established on JASMIN​ with potential to serve Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service and other operational centres.

In parallel to producing and exploiting existing satellite data, RSG provides scientific direction and expertise for future satellite missions and precursor airborne instruments. 

​Visua​lisation tool:

The Remote Sensing Group Data Visualisation Portal shows atmospheric trace gas, aerosol, and cloud distributions produced in near-real time from satellite observations.
The portal is currently still in development. For further information, please look at our FAQs and find out more about the datasets available.

Visualisation tool preview of a digital globe coloured blue to red showing variations in carbon monoxide levels across Earth.

​Case studies:

Group contact information

Contact information and specialist expertise of RSG staff can be found Group ​Members.

For more information please contact: RAL Space Enquiries