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Steven Tsz K  Chan's Picture
Jet Propulsion Laboratory
M/S 300-362A
4800 Oak Grove Drive
Pasadena, CA 91109
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Curriculum Vitae:

Steven Tsz K Chan

Steven Chan (M’01-SM’03) received the Ph.D degree in electrical engineering from the University of Washington in 1998, specializing in electromagnetic wave propagation in random media. He is currently a scientist in hydrology at NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, focusing on passive microwave soil moisture retrieval algorithm development. His work in remote sensing of soil moisture encompasses the NASA Aqua/AMSR-E (2002-2011), the JAXA GCOM-W/AMSR2 (2012-present), and more recently the NASA Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) mission (2015-present).

In his spare time, he enjoys photography, road cycling, badminton, and ping-pong.

  • Ph.D., Electrical Engineering, University of Washington, Seattle (1998)
  • M.Sc., Electrical Engineering, University of Washington, Seattle (1995)
  • B.Sc., Electrical Engineering, Portland State University, Oregon (1993)

Research Interests
  • Retrieval methods for microwave remote sensing of soil moisture and vegetation parameters
  • Resolution enhancement techniques for satellite datasets
  • Long-term trend and variability of land hydrological processes
  • End-to-end simulator software development for earth science flight projects


SMAP - Soil Moisture Active Passive Icon SMAP - Soil Moisture Active Passive
The Soil Moisture Active Passive Mission provides measurements of soil moisture and its freeze/thaw state as well as sea surface salinity.

Aqua Icon Aqua
Aqua is a major international Earth Science satellite mission centered at NASA.

The Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM) obtained elevation data on a near-global scale to generate the most complete high-resolution digital topographic database of Earth.

Professional Experience

Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California, USA.
Scientist (2001-present); Caltech Postdoctoral Scholar (1999-2001)
-Explore new retrieval methods in microwave remote sensing of soil moisture and vegetation parameters.
-Develop and maintain operational retrieval codes that produce satellite-based soil moisture products (AMSR-E [2002-2011], AMSR2 [2012-present], and SMAP [2015-present]) used by the worldwide research community.
-Explore emerging super-resolution techniques to enhance satellite-based soil moisture datasets

University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, USA.
Research Associate (1998-1999)
-Taught courses on electromagnetic wave propagation in random media and antenna theory.
-Conducted research on detection of concealed objects using confocal microwave imaging and angular correlation function (ACF).

Community Service

  • Senior Member, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)
  • Member, American Geophysical Union (AGU)

Selected Awards
  • Federal Laboratory Consortium (FLC) Interagency Partnership Award (2016)
  • JPL Los Angeles Deformation Visualization Team Award (2015)
  • SMAP Technical Support Team Award (2014)
  • SMAP Cal/Val Planning Team Award (2013)
  • SMAPVEX12 Field Campaign Team Award (2013, 2012)
  • SMAP Algorithm & SDS Development Team Award(2012)
  • JPL Mariner Award (2010)

Selected Publications
  1. Chan, S., R. Bindlish, P. O’Neill, E. Njoku, T. Jackson, A. Colliander, F. Chen, M. Mariko, S. Dunbar, J. Piepmeier, S. Yueh, D. Entekhabi, M. Cosh, T. Caldwell, J. Walker, X. Wu, A. Berg, T. Rowlandson, A. Pacheco, H. McNairn, M. Thibeault, J. Martinez-Fernandez, A. Gonzalez-Zamora, M. Seyfried, D. Bosch, P. Starks, D. Goodrich, J. Prueger, M. Palecki, E. Small, M. Zreda, J. Calvet, W. Crow, Y. Kerr (2016): Assessment of the SMAP passive soil moisture product, IEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing, in press.
  2. F. Chen, W. T. Crow, A. Colliander, M. Cosh, T. J. Jackson, R. Bindlish, R. Reichle, S. Chan, D. Bosch, P. Starks, D. Goodrich, M. Seyfried (2016): Application of triple collocation in ground-based validation of Soil Moisture Active/Passive (SMAP) Level 2 Data Products, IEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing, in press.
  3. Konings, A. G., M. Piles, K. Rötzer, K. A. McColl, S. Chan, D. Entekhabi (2015): Vegetation optical depth and scattering albedo retrieval using time series of dual-polarized L-band radiometer observations, Remote Sensing of Environment, 172, 178-189.
  4. Mladenova, I., T. Jackson, E. Njoku, R. Bindlish, S. Chan, M. Cosh, T. Holmes, R. de Jeu, L. Jones, J. Kimball, S. Paloscia, E. Santi (2014): Remote monitoring of soil moisture using passive microwave-based techniques — Theoretical basis and overview of selected algorithms for AMSR-E, Remote Sensing of Environment, 144, 197-213.
  5. Das, N, A. Colliander, S. Chan, E. Njoku, L. Li (2014): Intercomparison of Brightness Temperature Observations Over Land from AMSR-E and WindSat, IEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing, 52(1), 452-464.
  6. Colliander, A., S. Chan, S. Kim, N. Das, S. Yueh, M. Cosh, R. Bindlish, T. Jackson, and E. Njoku (2012): Long-term Analysis of PALS Soil Moisture Campaign Measurements for Global Soil Moisture Algorithm Development, Remote Sensing of Environment, 121, 309-322.
  7. Ao, C. O., D. Waliser, S. Chan, J. Li, B. Tian, F. Xie, A. J. Mannucci (2012): Planetary Boundary Layer Heights from GPS Radio Occultation Refractivity and Humidity Profiles, Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres, 117(D16)
  8. Konings, A. G., D. Entekhabi, S. Chan, E. G. Njoku (2011): Effect of Radiative Transfer Uncertainty on L-Band Radiometric Soil Moisture Retrieval, IEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing, 49(7), 2686-2698.
  9. Jones, L. A., C. R. Ferguson, J. S. Kimball, K. Zhang, S. Chan, K. C. McDonald, E. G. Njoku, E. F. Wood (2010): Daily Land Surface Air Temperature Retrieval From AMSR-E: Comparison with AIRS/AMSU, IEEE Journal of Selected Topics in Applied Earth Observations and Remote Sensing (J-STARS), 3(1), 111-123.
  10. Jones, L. A., J. S. Kimball, K. C. McDonald, S. K. Chan, E. G. Njoku, and W. C. Oechel (2007): Satellite Microwave Remote Sensing of Boreal and Arctic Soil Temperatures from AMSR-E, IEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing, 45(7), 2004-2018.
  11. Njoku, E. G., S. K. Chan (2006): Vegetation and surface roughness effects on AMSR-E land observations, Remote Sensing of Environment 100(2): 190-199.
  12. Njoku, E., P. Ashcroft, S. K. Chan, and L. Li (2005): Global Survey and Statistics of Radio-Frequency Interference in AMSR-E Land Observations, IEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing, 43(5), 938-947.
  13. Crow, W., S. K. Chan, D. Entekhabi, P. Houser, A. Hsu, T. Jackson, E. Njoku, P. O'Neill, J. Shi, and X. Zhan (2005): An observing system simulation experiment for Hydros radiometer-only soil moisture products, IEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing, 43(6), 1289-1303.
  14. Njoku, E., S. K. Chan, W. Crosson, and A. Limaye (2004): Evaluation of the AMSR-E data calibration over land, Italian Journal of Remote Sensing, 30(31), 19-37.
  15. Njoku, E., T. Jackson, V. Lakshmi, S. K. Chan, and S. V. Nghiem (2003): Soil Moisture Retrieval from AMSR-E, IEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing, 41(2), 215-229.
  16. Chan, S. K., Y. Kuga, and A. Ishimaru (1999): Experimental studies on circular SAR imaging in clutter using angular correlation function technique, IEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing, 37(5): 2192-2197.
  17. Ishimaru, A., S. K. Chan, and Y. Kuga (1998): An imaging technique using confocal circular synthetic aperture radar, IEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing, 36(5): 1524-1530.
  18. Chan, S. K., Y. Kuga, and A. Ishimaru (1997): Subsurface detection of a buried object using angular correlation function measurement, Waves In Random Media 7(3): 457-465.
  19. Chan, S. K., Y. Kuga, and A. Ishimaru (1996): Angular memory effect of millimeter-wave scattering from two-dimensional conducting random rough surfaces, Radio Science, 31(5): 1067-1076.
  20. Ishimaru, A., C. Le, Y. Kuga, L. A. Sengers, and S. K. Chan (1996): Polarimetric scattering theory for high slope rough surface - Summary, Journal of Electromagnetic Waves and Applications, 10(4): 489-491.

Book Chapter

  1. Nghiem, S. V., D. B. Wardlow, D. Allured, M. D. Svoboda, D. LeComte, M. Rosencrans,. S. K. Chan, and G. Neumann (2012), "Microwave Remote Sensing of Soil Moisture – Science and Applications," Chap. 9, Part III, 197-226, in Remote Sensing of Drought – Innovative Monitoring Approaches, Drought and Water Crises Book Series,Taylor and Francis, ISBN 978-1-4398-3557-9.

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