Research Home

Research activities within Hydrological Sciences focus on the interpretation of remotely sensed data and land surface hydrological, meteorological and climatological modeling. The integrating properties of remote sensing techniques provide, for the first time, a potential for complete hydrological measurements over multiple time and space scales. To realize this potential, the group is developing, testing, and applying algorithms for translating remotely sensed measurements into soil moisture content, snow mass, precipitation, evapotranspiration, vegetation density and other relevant hydrological quantities at the land/atmosphere interface. In addition, hydrological and atmospheric models are being developed concurrently that utilize remote sensing data for input, calibration, and validation within a wide range of temporal and spatial contexts. All of these studies serve to improve our understanding of how the various components of the hydrological cycle interact, and provide us with important information about the current structure of global hydrology and how mankind is changing the hydrological environment.

The menu to the left provides links to some of the Research Projects and Activities associated with the Hydrological Sciences.



Under the leadership of Dr. Edward Kim, the 2017 SnowEx airborne and field campaign was carried out in Colorado during February 6-24.  For more information please visit

SLAP/SoOP Campaign

October 2016


SLAP installed on the bottom of the NASA Langley King Air UC-12B during its first instrument check flight in 2013.

SLAP installed on the bottom of the NASA Langley King Air UC-12B during its first instrument check flight in 2013, flying over fields in Southeastern Virginia.
SLAP installed on the NASA Langley King Air B200, coflying with the SoOp-AD project in Lawton, Oklahoma.
Close-up view of SLAP installed on the bottom of the NASA Langley King Air UC-12B during its first instrument check flight in 2013.
SLAPex Canada Aircraft team with the instrument and aircraft before the final flight over Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada in the Fall of 2015.  From left to right:


SLAPex Freeze/Thaw Airborne Campaign

SLAP Flight Preparations

10/30/2015.  Goddard's SLAP on the NASA Langley King Air preparing to depart on the first flight of SLAPex freeze/thaw in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.

Pre-Flighting SLAP

10/30/2015.  Eugenia De Marco and Albert Wu pre-flighting SLAP.

SMAPEx-4 Field Campaign

(Photo credit: Lynn McKee/USDA)

HSL's Amy McNally (above, foreground), Grey Nearing, and Kiersten Newtoff have joined a SMAP calibration and validation field campaign in the Yanco region of Australia (380 miles west of Sydney) led by International SMAP science team member Jeff Walker (Monash University, Melbourne, Australia).  It includes ground soil moisture and vegetation sampling and aircraft active and passive L-band sensor measurements coincident with observatory passes over the region. The campaign runs from May 2 through May 22 and includes scientists from Australia, Netherlands, Germany, France and the United States, including NASA and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).   More information can be found in the May 7 blog entry at:


SLAP Taking Flight

King Air Aircraft with SLAP.

NASA Langley's King Air aircraft preparing to fly the Scanning L-band Active Passive (SLAP) instrument. SLAP was developed in the HSL at NASA Goddard by a small team led by HSL scientist Ed Kim.

The SLAP Instrument aboard the King Air Aircraft.

Happy SLAPpers: SLAP team members Hemanshu Patel (L) and Albert Wu (R) check out the SLAP instrument aboard NASA Langley's King Air aircraft prior to a flight Feb 12, 2015. Team member Tammy Faulkner (not visible in this view) is checking the calibration target under the aircraft. SLAP is an airborne simulator for NASA's flagship SMAP satellite that was launched at the end of January, 2015.

Hydrological Sciences Features

Science Highlights

Our Science Highlights are published monthly to our web site. Each report is fully viewable online as JPG files. The PowerPoint files are also archived and freely available for download.


Student, Post-Doc, and Faculty Opportunities

Here you can view student, post-doc and faculty opportunities for Hydrological Sciences. Click here to for more information