Hydrological Sciences Research

Hydrological Sciences is a part of Hydrospheric and Biospheric Sciences located at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. Water is critical to sustaining life on Earth. Hydrological Sciences of the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center recognizes the primary role of water in the Earth system and seeks to advance hydrological science and applications from local to global scales.

Key missions supported include The Soil Moisture Active and Passive (SMAP) Mission, The Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) Mission, The Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE), The Ice, Cloud, and land Elevation Satellite-2 (ICESat-2), and The Surface Water Ocean Topography (SWOT) mission, in addition to instrument science and algorithm team roles in the Joint Polar Satellite System (JPSS) and the Defense Weather Satellite System (DWSS).

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:
  • NASA Glenn pilot Kurt Blankenship
  • NASA Goddard SLAP Instrument Manager Albert Wu
  • NASA Goddard SLAP Lead Engineer Eugenia De Marco
  • NASA Langley Quality Engineer Carey Smith
  • NASA Langley Pilot Les Kagey
  • NASA Langley Crew Chief Scott Sims
  • NASA Langley Crew Matt Brame
  • NASA Goddard SLAP Principal Investigator Ed Kim


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

Earth Sciences Seminar and Conference Information

Earth Sciences Seminar and Conference Information
Seminar Contact: Mike Jasinski

Contact Us

Questions or Comments

General inquiries about the scientific programs at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center may be directed to the Center Public Affairs office at 1.301.286.8955
> PAO's Questions and Comments Page