UCL Dept. of Space & Climate Physics | Mullard Space Science Laboratory
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Gerardo López Saldaña

Research Interests

  • Satellite-based fire monitoring
  • Land use and land cover change
  • Ocean dynamics
  • Geoinformatics
  • Global change



The GlobAlbedo project will generate an open access validated 15 year record of land surface albedo, which has the potential to be sustained into the future using data from operational European satellites, such as the GMES Sentinels.

GlobAlbedo project will develop a broadband albedo map of the entire Earth's land surface (snow and snow-free), which is required for use in climate modelling and research. An initial group of six users are working with the GlobAlbedo project team to define requirements and drive the project towards practical applications of the products.

The final albedo products will include both black and white sky albedo over the entire globe with at least monthly frequency over the 1995-2010 time period, include uncertainty estimates, and be integrated in three spectral broadband ranges, namely the solar spectrum (400-3000nm), the visible (400-700nm) and the near- and shortwave infrared (700-3000nm).


Years Qualification Type / Subject Institution
1998 - 2002 Computer Science Degree Universidad Tecnológica de México
2004 - 2005 Quality and Productivity - Postgraduate course of study Universidad Tecnológica de México
September 2004 - June 2005 Diploma in Geomatics Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM) - Geography Institute

Professional History

  • Software Developer (1998 - 2002)
    National Commission for Knowledge and Use of Biodiversity (CONABIO), Mexico City, Mexico.
    Software development using Visual Basic 6 and Delphi 6 for taxonomic and bio-geographic applications for Biotica system. Sistema de Información Biótica.
  • Invited researcher (May 2006 - December 2006)
    German Aerospace Center (DLR), German remote sensing data center (DFD), Munich, Germany
    Short-stay for research at DLR in Munich, Germany from May 2006 to December 2006 to develop applications based on MODIS data, forest fires detection for Europe and a framework for vegetation fraction identification using Support Vector Machines (SVM) classification tool.
  • Remote Sensing Analyst (2003-2009)
    National Commission for Knowledge and Use of Biodiversity (CONABIO), Mexico City, Mexico.
    • Software development in C, IDL, Perl, Python and UNIX/Linux shells like csh, bash and sh.
    • Direct broadcast station management receiving Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) and Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) images.
    • Natural hazards mapping using remote sensing and GIS tools.


  • Jiménez Raúl, Cruz Isabel, Schmidt Michael, Ressl Rainer, Ressl Silke, López Gerardo. Detección temprana de incendios (Early Fire Detection). CONABIO, January 2004.
  • De Badts Erik, López Gerardo, Wickel A.J., Cruz Isabel, Jiménez Raúl. Índice de propagación de incendios (Fire propagation index). CONABIO, March 2006.
  • Chuvieco et al. Global Burned Land Estimation in Latin America using MODIS Composite Data. Ecological Applications, 18(1), 2008, pp. 64-79
  • R. Ressl, G. Lopez, I. Cruz, R.R. Colditz, M. Schmidt. Operational active fire mapping and burnt area identification applicable to Mexican Nature Protection Areas using MODIS DB data. Remote Sensing of Environment. Volume 113, Issue 6, 15 June 2009, Pages 1113-1126. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.rse.2008.10.016



Conferences Attended

  • XI International SELPER Symposium, addressing the lecture "Early fire detection program", November 2004, Santiago, Chile.
  • International EOS/NPP Direct Readout Meeting 2005. "Direct Readout technologies and science processing algorithms for EOS/NPP.", addressing the lecture "Biodiversity Monitoring - MODIS and AVHRR DB Station, Mexico", October 2005, Benevento, Italy.
  • XII International SELPER Symposium, addressing the lecture "Burnt scars identification using MODIS data from direct broadcast station in Mexico City", September 2006, Cartagena de Indias, Colombia.
  • 32nd International Symposium on Remote Sensing of Environment, addressing the lecture "Vegetation fraction estimation using MODIS daily corrected reflectance images and support vector machine classification techniques", June 2007, San Jose, Costa Rica.
  • Land and Vegetation Direct Readout Workshop, addressing the lecture "Land Cover Change/Fractional Vegetation Cover", October 2007, Mexico City, Mexico.
  • International EOS/NPP Direct Readout Meeting 2008, addressing the presentation "Ecosystem Monitoring: The MODIS and AVHRR Direct Broadcast Station in Mexico", March 2008, Bangkok, Thailand.
  • 7th International Workshop of the EARSeL Special Interest Group (SIG) on Forest Fires. Presenting the poster "Early Warning System for Fires in Mexico and Central America", September 2009, Matera, Italy.


This page last modified 30 June, 2011 by imaging@mssl

New Group Members

The Imaging group would like to welcome the new Ph.D. students, Arrow Lee, Wil Poole and Daoxi Zhang to the team.

Arrow will be working on reconstructing density and motion of the Solar atmosphere and Coronal Mass Ejections from a series of stereoscopic images captured by NASAs STEREO mission.

Wil will be working on Mars surface roughness mapping using multi-resolution imaging and MOLA beam broadening, for landing site selection and the study of surface formation and evolution mechanisms.

Daoxi will be working on understanding the potential and limitations of solar-induced and laser-induced flourescent imaging of cyanobacteria in freshwater and seawater.

Mullard Space Science Laboratory - Holmbury St. Mary - Dorking - Surrey - RH5 6NT - Telephone: +44 (0)1483 204100 - Copyright © 1999-2005 UCL

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