Remote Sensing Scientist

Remote Sensing Scientist

Published Deadline Location
9 Jun 30 Jun De Bilt

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Are you a scientist who likes to contribute to the development and improvement of high-resolution NO2 retrievals from TROPOMI and other satellite sensors? And do you like to do that at a special institute where science, engineering and services come together? Then make this job your new job and apply immediately.

Job description

Your job as a Remote Sensing Scientist

Since the mid-90s, satellite sensors are monitoring NO2 from space, providing detailed measurements of NO2 air pollution with spatial resolution up to 5 km (TROPOMI). They are used to study pollutant concentrations and emissions from different sectors and areas such as road traffic, shipping, aviation, industry, cities, but also contributions from wildfires, lightning or soils. Recently the satellite images attracted wide attention from both academia and the general public linked to the large reductions in anthropogenic air pollution during the COVID-19 lockdown measures, and the nitrogen crisis in The Netherlands. KNMI contributes via the OMI and TROPOMI instruments to national and international initiatives (such as ESA’s Climate Change Initiative and CLIMATE-SPACE programmes) aimed at generating coherent satellite data records that are useful for the international climate change and atmospheric chemistry community.

In this job, you will:

  • develop and improve KNMI’s retrieval for the next generation NO2 capabilities by implementing fine-scale information on the state of the atmosphere,
  • produce and deliver consistent and harmonized global NO2 data records from multiple sensors ranging from GOME, SCIAMACHY, GOME-2, OMI and TROPOMI,
  • develop and test spatially and temporally binned (so-called level-3) multi-sensor merged data NO2 products,
  • compare and apply the NO2 data product in various model exercises, including ECMWF’s CAMS reanalysis of atmospheric composition.
  • contribute to concepts for future satellites, such as the ESA Earth Explorer NitroSat proposal.

The research scientist will be based in the R&D Satellite Observations department at KNMI, and work closely with European scientists in the framework of ESA’s CCI+ Precursors (link here) project and the S5P mission, and other (international) project partners.

How do we work?

You will be given a hybrid familiarisation programme, during which you will be introduced to KNMI and the work. Of course, you are not on your own; a buddy will help you with all your questions.


Koninklijk Nederlands Meteorologisch Instituut


We are looking for a dedicated researcher who enjoys teamwork and has:

  • an MSc or PhD degree in Remote Sensing, Physics, Atmospheric Sciences, or a related field;
  • skills in data analysis, programming, and/or scripting;
  • knowledge of radiation transport, satellite remote sensing, or retrieval techniques;
  • an enthusiastic attitude and preference for collaboration;
  • good communication skills (English) in word and writing.
  • We welcome applications from postdocs as well as from candidates who have recently graduated or obtained their PhD.
  • By working closely together in the department and within international projects (ESA CCI+ and ESA S5P), you will become part of a vibrant research community, and have the opportunity to take on various interpersonal responsibilities that advance the quality and use of NO2 satellite measurements.

Conditions of employment

Fixed-term contract: 3 years.

  • Salarisniveau: schaal 11
  • Maandsalaris: Min €3.608 – Max. €5.503 (bruto)
  • Dienstverband: Arbeidsovereenkomst voor bepaalde tijd
  • Contractduur: 3 years
  • Maximaal aantal uren per week: 36

Other conditions of employement

In addition to the salary and holiday pay an end-of-year payment can be expected, the so-called 13th month. The national government strongly adheres to personal growth and carreer development and offers several possibilities to facilitate this. The terms of employment include amongst others a maximum 55% paid parental leave  (conditions apply), facilities to study, additional arrangements for leave for elderly and a refund for commuter traffic. The national government offers possibilities for a number of individual choices in shaping the total package of terms of employement.


Royal Dutch Meteorological Institute (KNMI)

The weather is temperamental, the ground moves and the climate changes. For our safety and prosperity, we need to know what risks and opportunities this brings. And: how we can best prepare ourselves. The Royal Dutch Meteorological Institute (KNMI) is the national knowledge and data center for weather, climate and seismology. Reliable, independent and focused on what the Netherlands needs. For a safe Netherlands that is prepared for the impact of weather, climate and earthquakes.

We use our core values - Development, Cooperation and Relevance - to achieve our ambition, both within and outside KNMI, nationally and internationally. We develop our knowledge and expertise and work together to create a single KNMI that makes a difference to society!

Talent as the basis, diversity as the strength
The KNMI is an inclusive organization. An organization that provides space for everyone and uses the strength of its diverse workforce to achieve better results together for the Netherlands. Inclusive means that everyone feels involved and valued; not in spite of their differences, but thanks to them.

Organisationally, KNMI falls under the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management.
The Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management (IenW) is committed to a safe, accessible and liveable Netherlands. That is why the Ministry is working on powerful connections by road, rail, water and air. And IenW protects against flooding, ensures the quality of air, water and soil and the realization of a circular economy.


The Research and Development Satellite Observations (RDSW) department of the KNMI (the Netherlands) contributes to weather and climate research and monitoring of the Earth system by using satellite measurements as well as surface remote sensing, balloon, and aircraft observations. Its main research objectives are climate research, air quality and stratospheric ozone. The satellite activities of the department encompass the entire range from collecting user requirements, developing instrument concepts, generating satellite products, to atmospheric research using the satellite data. KNMI is the Principal Investigator institute for the Sentinel-5P mission with the TROPOMI instrument and is responsible for the development of retrieval products including nitrogen dioxide (NO2).

More information on the department can be found at:

There is a positive attitude. Colleagues are friendly with each other, like to have a cup of coffee together and are very approachable. The mix of men and women of different ages and with diverse backgrounds also contributes to a pleasant working atmosphere within the department.


  • Research, development, innovation
  • Natural sciences; Engineering
  • max. 36 hours per week
  • €3608—€5503 per month
  • University graduate
  • AT KN 20230609


Koninklijk Nederlands Meteorologisch Instituut

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Utrechtseweg 297, 3732 GK, De Bilt

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