60 Years Space Physics Research Laboratory

SPRL at 60

Universities and Space Exploration

Speaker Biography

Photo - Chris RufChris Ruf
University of Michigan
SPRL Director


  • Ph.D., Electrical & Computer Engineering, University of Massachusetts, Amherst
  • B.A., Physics, Reed College

Specializations and Research Interest

  • Earth Environmental Remote Sensing:
    • Design and fabrication of next-generation satellite microwave radiometers
    • Novel methods for maintaining high accuracy and stability calibration of satellite sensors to detect minute global change signatures
    • Application of inversion techniques and multi-sensor assimilation to remote sensing
    •  Hardware and algorithmic aspects of satellite microwave radiometry
  • Synthetic thinned aperture radiometry
  • Mitigation of radio frequency interference
  • Self-contained end-to-end radiometer calibration system
  • Use of stationary statistical properties of upwelling radiances to constrain absolute accuracy and long term stability of satellite measurements
  • Profiling of lower, middle and upper atmosphere using multispectral, multisensor and climatological databases

Honors, Awards and Accomplishments

  • 2006 International Geoscience and Remote Sensing Symposium Prize Paper Award for Detection of RFI by its Amplitude Probability Distribution
  • Instrument Scientist, NASA TOPEX Microwave Radiometer
  • Principle Investigator, calibration/validation of US Navy GEOSAT Follow-On Water Vapor Radiometer
  • Science Team Member, NASA Jason-1 Microwave Radiometer
  • Science Team Member, NASA Aquarius Microwave Radiometer
  • Science Team Member, NASA Juno Microwave Radiometer
  • Developed new method for estimating the depth of the marine boundary layer (BLD) from space using horizontal turbulence structure of vertically integrated atmospheric water vapor
  • Developed new method for absolute and relative calibration of spaceborne microwave radiometers using lower bound on a cumulative statistic of the measured radiance
  • Pushed several technologies needed to fly synthetic thinned aperture radiometer (STAR) in space (antenna arrays, real/synthetic aperture sharing, digital correlators, calibration techniques)
  • Derived correction to standard model for pressure broadening of atmospheric absorption line of water vapor at 22.235 GHz based on microwave spectrometer observations
  • Fellow, IEEE
  • IEEE Judith A. Resnik Technical Field Award, Contributions to the absolute calibration of spaceborne microwave radiometers
  • IEEE Transactions on Geoscience & Remote Sensing Prize Paper Award, Retrieval of tropospheric water vapor scale height from horizontal turbulence
  • NASA Group Achievement Award, Lightweight Rainfall Radiometer
  • NASA Group Achievement Award, TOPEX Joint Verification Team
  • NASA Group Achievement Award, TOPEX precision orbit determination
  • NASA Group Achievement Award, TOPEX Microwave Radiometer
  • NASA Certificate of Recognition, Piezoelectric reflecting array for reflector surface distortion compensation
  • NASA Certificate of Recognition, Synthetic aperture interferometric radiometer image reconstruction error analysis
  • NASA Certificate of Recognition, Sparse aperture interferometric radiometer - Refining the two-dimensional antenna configuration

Professional Service

  • Associate Editor, AMS Journal of Atmospheric and Oceanic Technology
  • Associate Editor, IEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing
  • Member, URSI Commission F (Remote Sensing)
  • Former Member, National Academies Committee on Radio Frequency
  • Former Associate Editor, AGU Radio Science
  • Former Guest Editor, IEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing
  • Former Guest Editor, AGU Radio Science
  • Former Editor, IEEE Geoscience and Remote Sensing Society Newsletter



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