Distinguished Achievement Award


About the Award
The Distinguished Achievement Award was established to recognize an individual who has made significant technical contributions, within the scope of GRSS, usually over a sustained period. In selecting the individual, the factors considered are quality, significance and impact of the contributions; quantity of the contributions; duration of significant activity; papers published in archival journals; papers presented at conferences and symposia; patents granted; and advancement of the profession. IEEE membership is preferable but not required. The award is considered annually and presented only if a suitable candidate is identified. The awardee receives a plaque and a certificate.

The Award Recipient


Alberto Moreira from Microwaves and Radar Institute, German Aerospace Center (DLR), Oberpfaffenhofen, Germany.
For contributions to radar remote sensing, missions and applications.
Alberto Moreira with GRSS President Melba Crawford.

Alberto Moreira (M’92, S’96, F’04) received the B.S.E.E. and M.S.E.E. degrees from the Aeronautical Technological Institute (ITA), São José dos Campos, in 1984 and 1986, respectively, and the Eng. Dr. degree (with honors) from the Technical University of Munich, Germany, in 1993. From 1996 to 2001, he was the Chief Scientist and Engineer with the SAR Technology Department, German Aerospace Center (DLR), Oberpfaffenhofen, Germany. Under his leadership, the DLR airborne SAR system has been upgraded to operate in innovative imaging modes like polarimetric SAR interferometry and SAR tomography. Since 2001, he has been the Director of the Microwaves and Radar Institute at DLR. The Institute contributes to several scientific programs and space projects for actual and future airborne and spaceborne SAR missions like TerraSAR-X, TanDEM-X, PAZ, Sentinel-1, SAR-Lupe, BIOMASS and Tandem-L. The mission TanDEM-X, led by his Institute, has successfully started the operational phase in December 2010. Prof. Moreira is the initiator and Principal Investigator for this mission. Since 2003, he is also a Full Professor with the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Germany, in the field of microwave remote sensing. He has more than 350 publications in international conferences and journals and is the holder of 16 patents in the radar and antenna field. His professional interests and research areas encompass radar end-to-end system design and analysis, microwave technologies, techniques and systems, signal and image processing, and remote sensing applications.

He is a member of the IEEE Geoscience and Remote Sensing Society (GRSS) Administrative Committee (1999–2001, 2004–2013, 2010 as President, 2011–2013 as Past-President), was the Founder and Chair of the GRSS German Chapter (2003–2008) and Associate Editor for the IEEE GRS Letters (2003–2007) and for the IEEE TGRS (since 2005). He and his colleagues received the GRS-S Transactions Prize Paper Awards in 1997, 2001, and 2007 and the IEEE W.R.G. Baker Award in 2012 from the IEEE Board of Directors. He is also recipient of several awards including the DLR Science Award (1995), IEEE AESS Nathanson Award for the Young Radar Engineer of the Year (1999) and the IEEE Kiyo Tomiyasu Technical Field Award (2007). He served as a member of the Board of Directors of the Information Technology Society of the German Association for Electrical, Electronic and Information Technologies (2003–2008), as chair of the Scientific and Technical Council of DLR (2009–2011), as spokesman of the Leadership Circle of DLR at Oberpfaffenhofen (2009–2011) and as chair of the DLR’s Center of Excellence on Synthetic Aperture Radar (2000–2012, 2014–2016). He has participated as a member of the technical program committee of more than 50 conferences and has contributed to the successful series of the European SAR conferences (EUSAR) as Technical Chairman (2000), Awards Chairman (2002–2004), General Chairman (2006), and Co-Chairman (2008), has served as Co-Chair of the European Radar Conference (EuRAD’07) and as General Co-Chair for the International Geoscience and Remote Sensing Symposium (IGARSS’12) in Munich. Since 2012 he is serving as the Principal Investigator (PI) for the Helmholtz Research Alliance ‘Remote Sensing and Earth System Dynamics’, comprising of 18 research institutes and 30 associated partners.


Outstanding Service Award


About the Award

The Outstanding Service Award was established to recognize an individual who has given outstanding service for the benefit and advancement of the Geoscience and Remote Sensing Society. The award shall be considered annually but will not be presented unless a suitable candidate is identified. The following factors are suggested for consideration: leadership innovation, activity, service, duration, breadth of participation and cooperation. GRSS membership is required. The awardee receives a certificate.

The Award Recipient


Christopher S. Ruf from the Space Physics Research Laboratory at The University of Michigan.
In recognition of his outstanding service for the benefit and advancement of the IEEE Geoscience and Remote Sensing Society.
Chris Ruf with GRSS President Melba Crawford.

Christopher S. Ruf (S’85-M’87-SM’92-F’14) received the B.A. degree in physics from Reed College, Portland, OR, USA, and the Ph.D. degree in electrical and computer engineering from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, MA, USA. He is currently Professor of atmospheric and space sciences, Professor of electrical engineering, and Director of the Space Physics Research Laboratory at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Ml, USA, and Principal Investigator of the Cyclone Global Navigation Satellite System ASA Earth Venture mission. He has worked previously at Intel Corporation, Santa Clara, CA, USA, Hughes Space and Communication, the ASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA, USA, and Penn State University, Col- lege Park, PA, USA. His research interests include GNSS-R bistatic scatterometry, microwave radiometry, atmosphere and ocean geophysical retrieval algorithm development, and sensor technology.

Dr. Ruf is a member of the American Geophysical Union (AGU), the American Meteorological Society (AMS), and Commission F of the Union Radio Scientifique Internationale. He is former Editor-in-Chief of the IEEE Transactions on Geoscienceand Remote Sensing (TGRS) and has served on the editorial boards of Radio Science and the Journal of Atmospheric and Oceanic Technology. He has been the recipient of four NASA Certificates of Recognition and seven NASA Group Achievement Awards, as well as the 1997 TGRS Best Paper Award, the 1999 IEEE Resnik Technical Field Award, and the 2006 IGARSS Best Paper Award.


Transactions Prize Paper Award

About the Award
The GRSS established the Transactions Prize Paper Award to recognize authors who have published an exceptional paper in IEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing during the past calendar year. When selecting the paper, other factors considered are originality and clarity of the paper. The Award consists of a Certificate and an honorarium of $3000, equally divided between the authors.

The Winning Paper
Simon Yueh, Wenqing Tang, Alexander G. Fore, Gregory Neumann, Akiko Hayashi, Adam Freedman, Julian Chaubell, and Gary S. E. Lagerloef, “L-band Passive and Active Microwave Geophysical Model Functions of Ocean Surface Winds and Application to Aquarius Retrieval,” IEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing, Vol. 51, No. 9, pp. 4619-4632, September 2013.

About the Authors

Simon Yueh, left, with GRSS President
Melba Crawford.

Simon H. Yueh received the Ph.D. degree in Electrical Engineering in January 1991 from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He was a post-doctoral research associate at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology from February to August 1991. In September 1991, he joined the Radar Science and Engineering Section at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL). He was the supervisor of radar system engineering and algorithm development group from 2002-2007. He was the deputy manager of Climate, Oceans and Solid Earth section from July 2007 to March 2009, and the section manager from April 2009 to Jan 2013. He served as the Project Scientist of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Aquarius mission from January 2012 to September 2013, the Deputy Project Scientist of NASA Soil Moisture Active Passive Mission from Jan 2013 to September 2013, the SMAP Project Scientist since October 2013. He has been the Principal/Co-Investigator of numerous NASA and DOD research projects on remote sensing of ocean salinity, ocean wind, terrestrial snow and soil moisture. He has authored four book chapters and published more than 150 publications and presentations. He received the 2010 IEEE GRSS Transaction Prize Paper award, 2002 IEEE GRSS Transaction Prize Paper award, the 2000 Best Paper Award in the IEEE International Geoscience and Remote Symposium 2000, and the 1995 IEEE GRSS Transaction Prize Paper award for a paper on polarimetric radiometry. He has been actively engaged in the GRSS activities, and has been on the Technical Program committee and chairing sessions for IGARSS. He received the JPL Lew Allen Award in 1998 and Ed Stone Award in 2003. He is an associate editor of IEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing and is a Fellow of IEEE.

Wenqing Tang received the Ph.D. degree in physics from the Michigan State University, East Lansing, in July 1987. In October 1989 she joined the Climate, Oceans and Solid Earth section, Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, California. She has been working on scientific data analysis and retrieval algorithm development of satellite earth remote sensing data. She has been the Co-Investigator of many research projects, including the NASA Ocean Vector Wind Science Team (OVWST) on SeaWinds scatterometers NSCAT and QuikSCAT; the NASA Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) mission; the NASA Energy and Water cycle Study (NEWS); and she was the Principal Investigator of the project producing global ocean surface vector wind fields and related geophysical parameters from space-based sensors under NOAA Climate and Global Change Program Directed at Climate Change Data and Detection / Enhanced Data Sets. She joined Aquarius post-launch instrument calibration and validation team in 2011 and has been working on Aquarius radar/radiometer geophysical model functions and other research activities including the rain effect on roughness correction to improve sea surface salinity retrieval.

Alexander G. Fore received the A.B. degree in Physics from Vassar College in 2002, as well as M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Physics from Carnegie Mellon University in 2004 and 2008, respectively. His doctoral work was modeling of complex fluids using the Lattice Boltzmann method. In March 2008 he joined the Radar Science and Engineering section at Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL). At JPL he has been working primarily on scatterometry, both forward modeling of the radar observation as well as retrieval of the geophysical quantity from the radar observation. He has also has experience in synthetic aperture radar processing and calibration algorithms.

Gregory Neumann received his M.S. degree in Electrical Engineering from Brigham Young University in 1983. He joined the Radar Science and Engineering Section at Jet Propulsion Laboratory in 1984. He has contributed to several National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) airborne and spaceborne radar missions. He was responsible for the deployment of a conical scanning Ku-band scatterometer (NUSCAT) on C-130 aircraft for ocean surface wind campaigns in 1990s. He has worked on the system engineering of NASA Scatterometer (NSCAT) flown on the Japanese Advanced Earth Observation Satellite (ADEOS), NASA SeaWinds Scatterometer on the QuikSCAT satellite, Shuttle Imaging Radar Mission (SRTM) for topographic measurements, and Aquarius mission for ocean surface salinity measurements. He is currently on the system engineering team for the integration and test of the L-band radar and radiometer for the NASA Soil Moisture Active-Passive (SMAP) mission.

Akiko Hayashi is a member of the Oceans and Ice Group at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. She received her B.S. in Civil Engineering and her M.S. in Structural Engineering at Duke University. After graduating, she came to the Jet Propulsion Laboratory to work in the Structures and Dynamics Technology Group doing structural analysis and finite element modeling on spacecraft. In 1988, she moved to the Oceanography Group where she started working on altimetry data from the Navy GEOSAT satellite. She is currently working on altimetry data from OSTM/Jason-2 satellite and the ocean salinity data from Aquarius (SAC-D) instrument.

Adam Freedman received his B.S. in Physics from Yale University in 1980, and his Ph.D. in Marine Geophysics from M.I.T. in 1987. He subsequently joined the Technical Staff at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, where he engaged in Earth Rotation Studies until 1996. He then began work in the Radar Sciences Section, first on the GeoSAR airborne X- and P-band radar platform, then as Instrument System Engineer for the Aquarius Project. He is now a System Engineer and the Instrument Operations Team Lead for the SMAP Mission. He is a member of Sigma Xi the American Geophysical Union.

Julian Chaubell received a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Mar del Plata, Buenos Aires, Argentina, in 1997. He earned his Ph.D. in Applied and Computational Mathematics from the California Institute of Technology in 2004. His doctoral work focused on Low-Coherence Interferometric Imaging. In April 2004 he joined Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena as a Postdoctoral Research Associate in the Tracking Systems and Applications Section, where he worked on the modeling of EM-wave propagation in fully three-dimensional atmospheric refractive index distributions. In April 2007, Dr. Chaubell joined the Radar Science and Engineering section at JPL as a permanent employee where he has been working on the forward modeling of radar and radiometer measurements as well as retrieval of the geophysical quantity from those measurements. He has also been involved in electromagnetic modeling of electrically large aperture systems and structures. Currently, Dr. Chaubell is part of the SMAP Instrument Operations Team and SMAP Radar L1 Subsystem Team.

Gary S.E. Lagerloef (M’06) received the Ph.D. degree in physical oceanography from the University of Washington, Seattle, in 1984. He currently serves as a Principal Investigator of the NASA Aquarius Mission to study the interactions between the earth’s water cycle, ocean circulation, and climate. He has served on numerous science teams and working groups over the last 20 years, including the Salinity Sea Ice Working Group (Chair), Satellite Altimeter Requirements for Climate Research Working Group (Co-chair), NRC Committee on Earth Gravity Measurements from Space, the AMS Committee on Sea Air Interaction and on NASA Science Working Teams for Topex/Poseidon/Jason missions, Ocean Vector Winds, and the Tropical Rainfall Measurement Mission. He has been a Guest Editor for the Journal of Geophysical Research-Oceans and is a Member of several professional associations, learned, and technical societies. He is currently with Earth and Space Research, Seattle, which he cofounded in 1995. He was with Science Applications International Corporation and was the NASA Physical Oceanography Program Manager from 1988 to 1990. He has served in the NOAA Commissioned Officer Corps and in the U.S. Coast Guard. He is the author of more than 60 publications and presentations. His research interests include ocean circulation and climate dynamics, with special emphasis in developing new applications for satellite remote sensing.


Letters Prize Paper Award

About the Award
The GRSS established the Letters Prize Paper Award to recognize the author(s) who has published in the IEEE Geoscience and Remote Sensing Letters during the previous calendar year an exceptional paper in terms of content and impact on the GRS Society. If a suitable paper cannot be identified from among those published during the calendar year, papers published in prior years, and subsequently recognized as being meritorious, may be considered. When selecting the paper, originality, impact, scientific value and clarity are factors considered. Prize: Certificate and $1500, equally divided between the authors.

The Winning Paper
R. Keith Raney, “Maximizing the Intrinsic Precision of Radar Altimetric Measurements,” IEEE Geoscience and Remote Sensing Letters, Vol. 10, No. 5, pp. 1171-1174, September 2013.

About the Author

R. Keith Raney, left, with GRSS
President Melba Crawford.

R. Keith Raney (Harvard, BS 1960; Purdue, MSEE 1962; Michigan, PhD 1968) while with the Space Department of the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (1994-2012), had responsibilities for earth observation systems development, space based radar conceptual design, and radar system analysis. Previously, with the Canada Centre for Remote Sensing (1976-1994), Dr. Raney was scientific authority for the world’s first digital processor for the SeaSat synthetic aperture radar (SAR), and responsible for the conceptual design of the RADARSAT SAR. He contributed to the designs of NASA’s Venus radars Pioneer and Magellan, the ERS-1 microwave AMI instrument of the European Space Agency (ESA), and the Shuttle Imaging Radar SIR-C. ESA’s CryoSat radar altimeter design is based on his original concept, and he was the design architect for the Mini-RF hybrid-polarimetric radars on India’s Chandrayaan-1 and NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter. Dr. Raney holds US and international patents on various aspects of radar, including the chirp scaling SAR processing algorithm, hybrid-polarimetric SAR architecture, and on-board processing for the delay-Doppler altimeter. He has over 400 major presentations and significant publications, including “Space-Based Remote Sensing Radars,” Chapter 18 in The Radar Handbook, 3rd Edition, M. Skolnik, Ed.: McGraw-Hill, 2008. Dr. Raney served on the GRSS AdCom for 8 years (1984-1992) and was President for two terms (1988, 1989). He is a Life Fellow of the IEEE, a Fellow of the Electromagnetics Academy, and an Associate Fellow of CASI. Honors include the IEEE Millennium Medal 2000, and the IEEE 2007 Dennis J. Picard Medal for radar technologies and applications.


J-STARS Prize Paper Award

About the Award

The GRSS established the J-STARS Prize Paper Award to recognize the author(s) who published in the IEEE Journal of Selected Topics in Applied Earth Observations and Remote Sensing during the previous calendar year an exceptional paper in terms of content and impact on the GRS Society. When selecting the paper, other factors considered are originality, clarity and timeliness of the paper. IEEE membership is preferable. The Award consists of a Certificate and an honorarium of $1,500. If the paper has more than one author, the honorarium shall be shared.

The Winning Paper
Angel Ferrán, Sergio Bernabé, Pablo G. Rodríguez, and Antonio Plaza, “A Web-Based System for Classification of Remote Sensing Data,” IEEE Journal of Selected Topics in Applied Earth Observations and Remote Sensing, Vol. 6, No. 4, pp. 1934-1948, 2013.

About the Authors

Angel Ferrán Frías was born in Mérida (Extremadura, Spain) in 1975. He received the Technical Engineering Computer degree from the University of Extremadura (UEX) in 1999 and the Master of Engineering Computer degree from Polytechnic of Caceres (UEX) in 2012. He joined “Proactiva Medio Ambiente” Madrid, Spain in 1999, as analyst-programmer in an international project about computerized accounting. In 2003 he was in charge of that project. From 2005 to 2009 he worked as Sap Programmer in Extremadura Health Service. Since 2009 he worked in the development computer projects department of the Government of Extremadura. He is currently collaborating on researching projects with the groups “Gim” and “Hypercomp” at the Polytechnic School of Caceres. His research interests include Earth Observation, Remote Sensing and Web Programming.

Sergio Bernabé received the M. Sc. degree in 2010 from the University of Extremadura, Caceres, Spain, and a joint Ph.D. degree in computer engineering between the University of Iceland and the University of Extremadura, Spain, in 2014. He has been a visiting researcher with the Institute for Applied Microelectronics, University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain and also, with the Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. His research interests comprise hyper/multi-spectral image analysis and efficient implementations of large-scale scientific problems on commodity Beowulf clusters and graphical processing units (GPUS). Dr. Bernabé has served as a reviewer for the IEEE Journal of Selected Topics in Applied Earth Observations and Remote Sensing, the IEEE Geoscience and Remote Sensing Letters and for the IEEE Transactions on Circuits and Systems for Video Technology.

Pablo Rodríguez (left) and Antonio Plaza,
with GRSS President Melba Crawford.

Pablo G. Rodríguez was born in Pontevedra (Spain) in 1969. He received his B.Sc. degree in Physical Science with specialization in Electronics and Computing in 1992 (University of Santiago de Compostela). He received his Ph.D. degree in Computer Science in 2000 (University of Extremadura), working in Digital Mammography. He is an Associate Professor in the Department of Computer Science at the University of Extremadura since 1997. Currently he is Subdirector of New Technologies and Research in the Polytechnic School Center in the University of Extremadura. His research area is related to the development of Pattern Recognition and Image Analysis techniques, and CBIR (Content-Based Image Retrieval).

Antonio Plaza (M’05-SM’07) is an Associate Professor (with accreditation for Full Professor) with the Department of Technology of Computers and Communications, University of Extremadura, where he is the Head of the Hyperspectral Computing Laboratory (HyperComp). He was elevated to IEEE Senior Member status in 2007. He was the Coordinator of the Hyperspectral Imaging Network, a European project with total funding of 2.8 MEuro. He authored more than 400 publications, including 119 JCR journal papers (71 in IEEE journals and 75 published since 2011), 20 book chapters, and over 240 peer-reviewed conference proceeding papers (94 in IEEE conferences). He has guest edited seven special issues on JCR journals (three in IEEE journals). He has been a Chair for the IEEE Workshop on Hyperspectral Image and Signal Processing: Evolution in Remote Sensing (2011). He is a recipient of the Prize Paper Award of the IEEE Journal of Selected Topics in Applied Earth Observations and Remote Sensing in 2013. He is a recipient of the recognition of Best Reviewers of the IEEE Geoscience and Remote Sensing Letters (in 2009) and a recipient of the recognition of Best Reviewers of the IEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing (in 2010), a journal for which he has served as Associate Editor in 2007-2012. He is also an Associate Editor for IEEE Access, and was a member of the Editorial Board of the IEEE Geoscience and Remote Sensing Newsletter (2011-2012) and the IEEE Geoscience and Remote Sensing Magazine (2013). He was also a member of the steering committee of the IEEE Journal of Selected Topics in Applied Earth Observations and Remote Sensing (2012). He served as the Director of Education Activities for the IEEE Geoscience and Remote Sensing Society (GRSS) in 2011-2012, and is currently serving as President of the Spanish Chapter of IEEE GRSS (since November 2012). He is currently serving as the Editor-in-Chief of the IEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing journal (since January 2013).


Highest Impact Paper Award


About the Award

The GRSS established the GRSS Highest Impact Paper Award to recognize the author(s) who has published during the past five years in an IEEE GRSS Journal the scientific paper that has received the highest number of citations and impact over the past five years as measured by the Thomson Reuters Web of Science citation index. A previously selected paper shall not be eligible for this award in the following years. The Award consists of a Certificate and an honorarium of $3,000. If the paper has more than one author, the honorarium shall be shared.

The Winning Paper
Masanobu Shimada, Osamu Isoguchi, Takeo Tadono, and Kazuo Isono, “PALSAR Radiometric and Geometric Calibration,” IEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing, Vol. 47, No. 12, pp. 3915–3932, December 2009.

About the Authors

Takeo Tadono (left) and Masanobu Shimada
with GRSS President Melba Crawford.

Masanobu Shimada (M’97–SM’04–F’11) received the BS and MS degrees in aeronautical engineering from Kyoto University in 1977 and 1979, and the PhD degree in electrical engineering from the University of Tokyo in 1999. He joined the National Space Development Agency of Japan (NASDA, former Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA)) in 1979. He was a one-year visiting scientist at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in 1990. From 1995, he has been assigned duties at Earth Observation Research Center (EORC), where he is in charge of the JERS-1 Science project (Global rainforest and boreal forest mapping project and SAR interferometry project). In the late 1990s he initiated the ALOS science project, which has calibration and validation of the ALOS sensors. He initiated the Kyoto and Carbon Initiative project for monitoring the forest and wetland using the time series PALSAR mosa- ics. His main outputs are the global SAR mosaics showing the annual deforestation change and large-scale land surface deformations. He has been a Principal Researcher of JAXA and leading the ALOS and ALOS-2 science projects. His current research interests are high resolution imaging for spaceborne and airborne SARs (PALSAR-2 and Pi-SAR-L2), calibration and validation, and SAR applications including polarimetric SAR interferometry. He is a guest professor of Tokai University from 2006.

Osamu Isoguchi graduated from the Tohoku University, Sendai, Japan, in 1994 and received the PhD degree in geophysics from Tohoku University, in 2003. His thesis was dedicated to the time-dependent ocean circulation by using altimetry. He is currently working as a Deputy Senior Scientist at Remote Sensing Technology Center of Japan, on the ocean application of the PALSAR/PALSAR-2 and a conceptual study of JAXA’s altimeter mission named Coastal and Ocean measurement Mission with Precise and Innovative Radar Altimeter (COMPIRA). His research interests are the oceanographic applications of remote sensing data into coastal studies.

Takeo Tadono (M’04–) received a B.E. degree in 1993, an M.E. degree in 1995, and a Ph.D. degree in 1998 in civil engineering from Nagaoka University of Technology, Niigata Pref., Japan. He is an Associate Senior Researcher at the Earth Observation Research Center (EORC), Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) and is in charge of calibrating and validating optical instruments on the Advanced Land Observing Satellite (ALOS). His research interests are calibration and validation of high-resolution optical instruments, and development of algorithm for retrieving geophysical parameters from remote sensing data, especially soil moisture and snow parameters using microwave. He is also a Visiting Professor of the Graduate School of Information Science and Technology (IST), Hokkaido University, Japan since 2008.

Kazuo Isono received the B.E. degree in 1993, the M.E. degree in 1995 all from the Department of Electro Photo Optics, Tokai University, Japan. In 1995, he joined the Remote Sensing Technology Center (RESTEC) of Japan, Tokyo. From 1995 to 1998, he was engaged in work to calibrate JERS-1’s SAR, ERS-1&2’s AIM, and RADARSAT’s SAR. From 1999 to 2002, he was engaged in work to development of the ADEOS-II’s GLI and AMSR, and Aqua’s AMSR-E. From 2003 to 2009, he was engaged in work for calibrating and validating of the ALOS’s PALSAR. He is currently a manager with Solution Service Department of RESEC. His research interests include measurement for ground subsidence using interferometric SAR data.


Symposium Prize Paper Award


About the Award
The GRSS established the Symposium Prize Paper Award to recognize the author(s) who presented at the IEEE International Geoscience and Remote Sensing Symposium (IGARSS) an exceptional paper in terms of content and impact on the GRSS. In selecting the paper, other factors considered are originality, clarity and timeliness of the paper. The published versions of the papers in the Digest shall also be evaluated. Prize: Certificate and $1250, equally divided between the authors.

The Winning Paper
Dehong Liu and Petros T. Boufounos, “Synthetic Aperture Imaging Using a Randomly Steered Spotlight,” 2013 International Geoscience and Remote Sensing Symposium, July 2013 in Melbourne, Australia, IGARSS’13 Proceedings.

About the Authors

Dehong Liu (left) and Petros T. Boufounos
with GRSS President Melba Crawford.

Dehong Liu (M’03–SM’08 ) received the B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. degrees in electrical engineering from Tsinghua University, Beijing, China, in 1997, 1999, and 2002, respectively. From 2003 to 2010, he worked at Duke University, Durham, NC, first as a post-doctoral Research Associate, then as a Research Scientist and Senior Research Scientist. Since July 2010, he has been with Mitsubishi Electric Research Laboratories (MERL), Cambridge, MA, where he is now a Principal Member Research Staff. His current research interests include compressive sensing, radar imaging, and array signal processing.

Petros T. Boufounos is a Principal Member of Research Staff at Mitsubishi Electric Research Laboratories (MERL) and a visiting scholar at the Rice University Electrical and Computer Engineering department. Dr. Boufounos completed his undergraduate and graduate studies at MIT. He received the S.B. degree in Economics in 2000, the S.B. and M.Eng. degrees in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (EECS) in 2002, and the Sc.D. degree in EECS in 2006. Between September 2006 and December 2008, he was a postdoctoral associate with the Digital Signal Processing Group at Rice University. Dr. Boufounos joined MERL in January 2009. Dr. Boufounos’ immediate research focus includes signal acquisition and processing, quantization and data representations, frame theory, and machine learning applied to signal processing. He is also interested into how signal acquisition interacts with other fields that use sensing extensively, such as robotics and mechatronics. Dr. Boufounos is a senior area editor at IEEE Signal Processing Letters. He has received the Ernst A. Guillemin Master Thesis Award for his work on DNA sequencing, the Harold E. Hazen Award for Teaching Excellence, both from the MIT EECS department, and has been an MIT Presidential Fellow. He is also a senior member of the IEEE and a member of Sigma Xi, Eta Kappa Nu, and Phi Beta Kappa.


Interactive Session Prize Paper Award


About the Award
The GRSS established the Interactive Session Prize Paper Award to recognize the author(s) who posted at the GRSS Symposium (IGARSS) an exceptional paper in terms of content and impact on the GRSS. When selecting the paper, other factors considered are originality, clarity and timeliness of the paper. The published versions of the papers in the Digest shall also be evaluated. Prize: Certificate and $1250, equally divided between the authors.

The Winning Paper
Roberto Sabia, Mattia Marconcini, Thomas Katagis, Diego Fernández Prieto, and Marcos Portabella, “On the Assessment of SMOS Salinity Retrieval by Using Support Vector Regression (SVR),” 2013 International Geoscience and Remote Sensing Symposium, July 2013 in Melbourne, Australia, IGARSS’13 Proceedings.

About the Authors
Roberto Sabia received the M.Sc. degree (cum laude) in Environmental Sciences, curriculum in Oceanography, from the Università degli Studi di Napoli ‘Parthenope’, Naples, Italy, in 2002 and the Ph.D. degree (cum laude) from the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (UPC), Barcelona, Spain, in 2008, with a Thesis on the salinity retrieval within the Soil Moisture and Ocean Salinity (SMOS) mission. From 2003 to 2008, he has been with the Remote Sensing Laboratory, UPC, Barcelona, Spain. In 2006, he was a Visiting Ph.D. Student with the National Oceanography Centre, Southampton, UK. From 2008 to 2010, he was with the SMOS Barcelona Expert Centre (SMOS-BEC), Institute of Marine Sciences, Barcelona, Spain. From 2010 to 2013, he was a post-doc Research Fellow at the European Space Agency (ESA-ESRIN), Frascati, Italy, acting also as Technical Officer and Coordinator of the ESA STSE ‘Changing Earth Science Network.’ Since 2013 he is contractor for Telespazio-Vega UK Ltd. at the European Space Agency (ESA-ESTEC), Noordwijk, the Netherlands, where he is acting as data analysis engineer. In 2010, he has led a European COST Action proposal titled ‘SMOS Mission Oceanographic Data Exploitation (SMOS-MODE)’, successfully selected for implementation and funded for the period 2011–2015. He was the recipient ex-aequo of the best Ph.D. Award in remote sensing of the Spanish Chapter of the IEEE GRS-S and the best European Ph.D. Award (5 awardees) in remote sensing of the IEEE GRS-S, both in 2008. He was an invited lecturer on SMOS ocean salinity at the ‘ESA EO Summer School on Earth System Monitoring and Modelling’, Frascati, Italy, 2012, and at the COSPAR Capacity Building course on ‘Remote Sensing of the Global Water Circulation to Climate Change’, Beijing, China, 2012. He has been co-Editor of the SpringerBriefs series book ‘Remote Sensing Advances for Earth System Science–The ESA Changing Earth Science Network: Projects 2009–2011’, and Topic Editor for the EGU OS/BG inter-journal special issue on ‘Earth Observation for Ocean-Atmosphere Interactions Science’. He served as reviewer for TGRS, JGR and GRSL journals, among others.

Mattia Marconcini with GRSS President
Melba Crawford.

Mattia Marconcini received the ‘Laurea’ (B.S.) and the ‘Laurea Specialistica’ (M.S.) degrees in telecommunication engineering (summa cum laude) and the Ph.D. in Communication and Information Technologies from the University of Trento, Italy, in 2002, 2004 and 2008, respectively. From 2004 to 2008 he worked in the Remote Sensing Laboratory, Department of Information Engineering and Computer Science, University of Trento. From 2008 to 2012 he worked at the European Space Agency (Frascati, Rome) in the Department of Earth Observation Science, Applications and Future Technologies. Presently, he is working at the German Remote Sensing Data Center (DFD) of the German Aerospace Center (DLR). His research activities are in the area of machine learning, pattern recognition, remote sensing and Earth observation. In particular, his interests are related to transfer learning and domain adaptation classification, targeted change detection, targeted classification, image segmentation problems and urban remote sensing. He conducts research on these topics within the frameworks of several national and international projects. Mattia Marconcini was a recipient of the Recognition for the Best Graduate Student at the University of Trento in 2004 and a finalist of the Student Prize Paper Competition of the 2007 IEEE International Geoscience and Remote Sensing Symposium (Barcelona, July 2007). He is currently a Reviewer of the IEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing, the IEEE Geoscience and Remote Sensing Letters, the IEEE Journal of Selected Topics in Applied Earth Observations and Remote Sensing, and Pattern Recognition Letters. He is author of seven book chapters and editor of the special issue ‘Earth-Observation for Land-Atmosphere Interaction Science’ of the EGU Biosciences journal.

Thomas Katagis has an MSc degree in Forest Management and Remote Sensing received from the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. He has been a member of the Laboratory of Forest Management and Remote Sensing since 2006 and has been involved as Associate Researcher in several European and national funded projects. From 2012 until mid-2013 he was employed at ESA/ESRIN under the STSE (Support to Science Element) component of the Earth Observation Envelope Programme (EOEP). He has a long time experience in analysis of time series of satellite data for LU/LC studies and fire-related research.

Diego Fernàndez Prieto received the B.S Degree in Physics from the University of Santiago de Compostela, Spain, in 1994. In 1994 and 1996, he was with the ‘Instituto per la Matematica Applicata’ (I.M.A) of the National Research Council (C.N.R), Genoa, Italy. In 1997, he received the Master Degree in Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Deusto, Spain and the University of Kent, United Kingdom. In 2001 he received the Ph.D. in Electronic Engineering and Computer Science by the Department of Biophysical and Electronic Engineering of the University of Genoa, Italy. Since 2001, he is with the Earth Observation (EO) Science, Applications and Future Technologies Department of the European Space Agency (ESA). At present he is program manager of the Support To Science Element (STSE), a scientific programme aimed at providing scientific support to both the formulation of novel mission concepts and the innovative exploitation of on-going ESA missions. He is also project manager of the CEOS TIGER initiative for water in Africa. His research activity is documented in more than 100 scientific publications. He is a reviewer for the journals IEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing, Pattern Recognition Letters, Hydrogeology, Earth Science Informatics, Journal of Environmental Management and Remote Sensing of the Environment. He is also guest editor of several special issues in international peer review journals.

Marcos Portabella was born on October 14, 1970 in Spain. He received the B.Sc. degree in Physics in 1994 from the University of Barcelona, Spain; the M.Sc. in Remote Sensing in 1995 from the Institute of Space Studies of Catalonia, Spain; and the Ph.D. degree in Physics in 2002, from the University of Barcelona, Spain. He is currently with the Institut de Ciències del Mar (ICM – CSIC), Barcelona, Spain, working on satellite remote sensing. In particular, he is involved in scatterometry and L-band radiometry.


Early Career Award


About the Award

The GRSS Early Career Award is to promote, recognize and support young scientists and engineers within the Geoscience and Remote Sensing Society that have demonstrated outstanding ability and promise for significant contributions in the future. Selection factors include quality, significance and impact of contributions, papers published in archival journals – papers presented at conferences and symposia, patents, demonstration of leadership, and advancement of profession. Previous award winners are ineligible. The Award consists of a Certificate and an honorarium of US$1,500.

The Winner

Feng Xu with GRSS Special Awards Chair
Mahta Moghaddam (left) and GRSS President
Melba Crawford.

Feng Xu was born in Zhejiang, China in 1982. He received the B.E. degree in Information Engineering from Southeast University, Nanjing, China and the Ph.D. degree in Electronic Engineering from Fudan University, Shanghai, China, in 2003 and 2008, respectively. His doctoral thesis is on the direct and inverse theory for synthetic aperture radar remote sensing. He is the 2007 recipient of the SUMMA graduate fellowship in the advanced electromagnetics area. From February 2008 to March 2010, he was a postdoctoral fellow with the NOAA Center for Satellite Application and Research (STAR), Camp Springs, MD, where he mainly worked on developing the Bayesian quality control algorithm and the near real-time data processing system iQuam for in situ sea surface temperature (SST) measurements. (http://www.star.nesdis.noaa.gov/sod/sst/iquam/) He was a member of the SST group of STAR where his work has contributed to the GEOS-R and JPSS programs. The iQuam data is now widely used in the SST community including NASA/JPL, University of Miami, NOAA/NCEP, etc. From March 2010 to March 2012, he was a research scientist at Intelligent Automation Inc. Rockville MD, while partly working for NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD as a visiting scientist. From March 2012 to June 2013, he was a senior research scientist at Intelligent Automation Inc. During his time with Intelligent Automation Inc., he took part in numerous projects funded by NASA/DoD/DHS, some of which he has served as PI or Co-I. He is mainly responsible for system design and algorithm development for novel synthetic aperture radar systems. He served as PI or Co-I for four projects. His research interests include novel mechanism for radar and imaging system development, novel algorithm for radar signal processing, electromagnetic modeling for complex electrical-large target in natural environment. In June 2013, he returned to Fudan University as a research professor. He serves as the vice director of the key laboratory for information science of electromagnetic waves, Ministry of Education. He is selected into China’s Global Experts Recruitment Program, the ‘Young 1000 Talent’. His current research interests include fast electromagnetic modeling for complicated target and environments, target reconstruction from multi-dimensional high-resolution SAR images, inverse scattering tomography and SAR remote sensing applications in earth observation. He is current advising one doctoral student and one master student. He has first-authored 11 papers in peer-reviewed journals, co-authored 2 books, and 2 patents, among many conference papers. Among other honors, he is awarded the second-class National Nature Science Award of China in 2011. He served as reviewers for IEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing, Antenna and Propagation, Image Processing, as well as Remote Sensing of Environment and International Journal of Remote Sensing.


GRSS Student Prize Paper Awards


The GRSS Student Prize Paper Award was established to recognize the best student papers presented at the IEEE International Geoscience and Remote Sensing Symposium (IGARSS). It is believed that early recognition of an outstanding paper will encourage the student to strive for greater and continued contributions to the Geoscience and Remote Sensing profession. The award shall be considered annually.

Ten high-quality papers were preselected by the Student Prize Paper Awards Committee in cooperation with the Technical Program Committee. At IGARSS 2014 in Quebec City, the students presented their papers in a special session and a jury, nominated by the GRSS Awards Co-Chair, evaluated and ranked them for the awards.

IEEE Mikio Takagi Student Prize recipient Jiangfeng Wu (right) and GRSS Student Prize Paper Award recipients Xudong Kang and Wei He with Society President Melba Crawford and GRSS Publications Award Chair Martti Hallikainen (left).

GRSS Third Student Prize Paper Award

The Third Prize Paper
Wei He, “A Noise-Adjusted Iterative Randomized Singular Value Decomposition
Method for Hyperspectral Image Denoising.”

About the Winner
Wei He is a Ph.D. student in the State Key Laboratory of Information Engineering in Surveying, Mapping and Remote Sensing; his advisors are Professor Liangpei Zhang and Professor Hongyan Zhang. His research interests include image quality improvement, remote sensing image processing and low rank representation.

GRSS Second Student Prize Paper Award

The Second Prize Paper
Xudong Kang, “Extended Random Walkers for Hyperspectral Image Classification.”

About the Winner
Xudong Kang (S’13) received the B.Sc degree from Northeast University, Shenyang, China, in 2007. He is pursuing the Ph.D degree in electrical engineering of Hunan University, Chansha, China. His advisor is Shutao Li. In 2012–2013, he was working as a visiting Ph.D. student in electrical engineering at the University of Iceland, Reykjavik, Iceland. He is engaged in image fusion, image super-resolution, pansharpening, and hyper-spectral image classification. Mr. Kang was the recipient of the Scholarship Award for Excellent Doctoral Student, the National Graduate Scholarship granted by Chinese Ministry of Education, the Presidential Scholarship granted by Hunan University.

GRSS Mikio Takagi Student Prize Paper Award

About the Award

The IEEE Mikio Takagi Student Prize was established to recognize a student who has presented an exceptional paper at the IEEE Geoscience and Remote Sensing Symposium (IGARSS).

The First Prize Paper
Jiangfeng Wu, “Super-Miniaturized Borehole Antenna Design and Radio-Wave Estimation of Sub-Surface Hydraulic Fractures at MF Band.”

About the Winner
Jiangfeng Wu (S’12) was born in Beijing, China. He received the B.S. degree in Engineering from Tsinghua University, Beijing, China, in 2010. He joined the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor in 2010 and received his M.S. degree in Electrical Engineering in 2012. He is currently working toward the Ph.D. degree at the Radiation Laboratory, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. His research interests include dual-polarized antenna design, electrically small antenna design, especially antenna miniaturization techniques with artificial electromagnetic materials. His recent research focus is the development of underground sub-surface detection method at MF Band.