Ludovic Brucker, Manager & Sr. Scientist, Earth Sciences

Ludovic Brucker

Contact Info

NASA Goddard
Bldg 33, Room A214
Greenbelt, MD 20771
Phone: 301-614-6748

Research Interests

Dr. Brucker's research focuses on understanding remotely sensed microwave observations of snow-covered polar and sub-polar regions (i.e. sea ice, ice cap and terrestrial snow packs). The goal of his projects is to contribute to the comprehension of the relationships between both passive and active microwave observations and snow/ice physical properties using modeling approaches to provide climate-related variables to the community for the satellite era. To that end, he works on developing algorithms and contributes to state-of-the-art multilayer snow evolution and emission models. He has published more than 40 papers on these topics, participated in a dozen field campaigns, including polar deployments in both hemispheres, and led the NASA SnowEx Ground Based Remote Sensing activities in 2016-2017.

Satellite and Snow Products Distributed by the National Snow and Ice Data Center:
- SnowEx17 Community Snow Pit Measurements
Elder, K., Brucker, L., Hiemstra, H., and Marshall, H.-P.
- SnowEx17 Community Snow Depth Probe Measurements
Brucker, L., Hiemstra, C., Marshall, H.-P., and Elder, K.
- Aquarius Level 3 Weekly Polar-Gridded Landscape Freeze/Thaw
Roy, A., Brucker, L., Prince, M., Royer, A., and Derksen, C.
- Aquarius Level 3 Weekly Polar-Gridded Brightness Temperature and Sea Surface Salinity
Brucker, L., Dinnat, E., and Koenig, L.
- Aquarius Level 3 Weekly Polar-Gridded Normalized Radar Cross Section
Brucker, L., Dinnat, E., and Koenig, L.
- Aquarius Level 3 Weekly Polar-Gridded Sea Surface Salinity
Brucker, L., Dinnat, E., and Koenig, L.


Dr. Brucker has been working on microwave remote sensing of the cryosphere since 2007. He joined Universities Space Research Association (USRA) GESTAR in May 2011, and now serves as a Senior Scientist & Manager. He obtained a MSc in Physics from the University of Clermont-Ferrand, France in 2006 and his PhD in Environmental Earth Science System in October 2009 from Grenoble Alpes University, France, after three years at Laboratory of Glaciology and Geophysics of the Environment (LGGE), since then renamed Institute for Geosciences and Environmental research (IGE). In 2015, he earned a Professional Certificate in Project Management from Georgetown University, Washington, DC. Dr. Brucker studies multiple elements of the cryosphere (ice sheets, sea ice, and seasonal snow packs) using air- and space-borne microwave remote sensing observations and modeling. In 2016-2017, he led the SnowEx's Ground Based Remote Sensing activities, and has participated in several polar deployments such as:
- In northern Quebec, during the 2008 International Polar Year;
- In West Antarctica, for the 2011 Satellite Era Accumulation Traverse (SEAT) (;
- In Greenland in 2013 and 2014 (;
- At the Canadian High Arctic Research Station in Cambridge Bay, Nunavut in 2015 and 2016; and
- At AFB Thule, for the U.S. Naval Academy Polar Science & Technology Program’s Ice Experiment in 2017.

- 2018 AGU (American Geophysical Union) Cryosphere Early Career Award
- 2017 NASA Robert H. Goddard Honor Award “Exceptional Achievement Award for Science”, SnowEx Organizing Team
- 2016 NASA Goddard Hydrospheric & Biospheric Sciences Outreach Award “for exceptional public outreach and mentoring of students in the field of remote sensing of the cryosphere”
- 2014 NASA Goddard Hydrospheric & Biospheric Sciences Scientific Achievement Award “for excellent and innovative work advancing microwave research over the cryosphere from multiple sensors and through field work”
- 2014 Excellence in GESTAR Mission Achievement

[42] Prince, M., Roy, A., Brucker, L., Royer, A., Kim, Y., and Zhao, T. Northern Hemisphere surface freeze–thaw product from Aquarius L-band radiometers, Earth Syst. Sci. Data, 10, 2055-2067,, 2018.
[41] Legchenko, A., Miège, C., Koenig, L., Forster, R., Miller, O., Solomon, D. K., Schmerr, N., Montgomery, L., Ligtenberg, S., and Brucker, L. Investigating a firn aquifer near Helheim Glacier (South-Eastern Greenland) with mag-netic-resonance soundings and ground-penetrating radar. Near Surface Geophysics, Near Surface Geophysics, 16, 411-422, doi: 10.1002/nsg.12001, 2018.
[40] Dolant, C., Montpetit, B., Langlois, A., Brucker, L., Zolina, O., Johnson, C. A., Royer, A., & Smith, P. Assessment of the barren ground caribou die?off during winter 2015–2016 using passive microwave observa-tions. Geophysical Research Letters, 45, 4908-4916, doi:10.1029/2017GL076752, 2018.
[39] Legchenko, A., Miège, C., Koenig, L., Forster, R., Miller, O., Solomon, D. K., Schmerr, N., Montgomery, L., Lig-tenberg, S., and Brucker, L. Estimating water volume stored in the south-eastern Greenland firn aquifer using magnetic-resonance soundings. Journal of Applied Geophysics, Vol. 150, pp. 11-20, doi:10.1016/j.jappgeo.2018.01.005, 2018.
[38] Dolant, C., Langlois, A., Brucker, L., Royer, A., Roy, A., and Montpetit, B. Meteorological inventory of Rain-1 On-Snow events and detection assessment in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago using microwave radiometry. Physical Geography, doi:10.1080/02723646.2017.1400339, 2017.
[37] Kwok, R., Kurtz, N. T., Brucker, L., Ivanoff, A., Newman, T., Farrell, S. L., King, J., Howell, S., Webster, M. A., Paden, J., Leuschen, C., MacGregor, J. A., Richter-Menge, J., Harbeck, J., and Tschudi, M.: Intercomparison of snow depth retrievals over Arctic sea ice from radar data acquired by Operation IceBridge, The Cryosphere, 11, 2571-2593, doi:10.5194/tc-11-2571-2017, 2017.
[36] Garcia-Eidell, C., Comiso, J., Dinnat, E., and Brucker, L. Satellite Observed Salinity Distributions at High Latitudes in the Northern Hemisphere: A Comparison of Four Products. J. Geophys. Res. Oceans, 122, doi:10.1002/2017JC013184, 2017.
[35] Larue, F., Royer, A., De Seve, D., Langlois, A., Roy, A., and Brucker, L. Validation analysis of the GlobSnow-2 database over an eco-climatic latitudinal gradient in Eastern Canada. Remote Sensing of Environment doi:10.1016/j.rse.2017.03.027, 2017.
[34] Miller, O. L., Solonon, D. K., Miège, C., Koenig, L., Forster, R. R., Montgomery, L. N., Schmerr, N., Ligtenberg, S., Legchenko, A., and Brucker, L. Hydraulic conductivity of a firn aquifer system in southeast Greenland determined with a heated piezometer. Front. Earth Sci. - Cryospheric Sciences, 5:38, doi:10.3389/feart.2017.00038, 2017.
[33] Poinar, K., Joughin, I., Lilien, D., Brucker, L., Kehrl, L., and Nowicki, S. Drainage of Southeast Greenland firn aquifer water through crevasses to the bed. Front. Earth Sci. - Cryospheric Sciences, Vol. 5, doi:10.3389/feart.2017.00005, 2017.
[32] Royer, A., Roy, A., Montpetit, B., Saint-Jean-Rondeau, O., Picard, G., Brucker, L., and Langlois, A. Comparison of commonly-used microwave radiative transfer models for snow remote sensing. Remote Sensing of Environment, Vol. 190, pp. 247-259, doi:10.1016/j.rse.2016.12.020, 2017.
[31] Langlois, A., Johnson, C.-A., Montpetit, B., Royer, A., Blukacz-Richards, E.A., Neave, E., Dolant, C., Roy, A., Arhonditsis, G., Kim, D.-K., Kaluskar, S., and Brucker, L. Detection of rain-on-snow (ROS) events and ice layer formation using passive microwave radiometry: A context for Peary caribou habitat in the Canadian Arctic. Remote Sensing of Environment Vol. 189, pp. 84-95, doi:10.1016/j.rse.2016.11.006, 2017.
[30] Dinnat, E., and Brucker, L. Improved Sea Ice Fraction Characterization for L-band Observations by the Aquarius Radiometers. IEEE Transactions on Geoscience & Remote Sensing (10.1109/TGRS.2016.2622011).
[29] Miège, C., Forster, R., Brucker, L., Koenig, L., Solomon, D. K., Paden, J., Box, J., Burgess, E., Miller, J., McNerney, L., Brautigam, N., Fausto, R., and Gogineni, S. P. Spatial extent and temporal variability of the Greenland firn aquifer detected by ground and airborne radars. J. Geophys. Res. Earth Surf., 121, doi:10.1002/2016JF003869.
[28] Cullather, R. I., Lim, Y.-K., Boisvert, L., Brucker, L., Lee, J., and Nowicki, S. Analysis of the warmest Arctic winter, 2015–2016, Geophys. Res. Lett., 43, 10, 808–10,816, doi:10.1002/2016GL071228, 2016.
[27] Boutin, J., Chao, Y., Asher, W. E., Delcroix, T., Drucker, R., Drushka, K., Kolodziejczyk, N., Lee, T., Reul, N., Reverdin, G., Schanze, J., Soloviev, A., Yu, L., Anderson, J., Brucker, L., Dinnat, E., Santos-Garcia, A., Jones, W. L., Maes, C., Meissner, T., Tang, W., Vinogradova, N.,Ward, B. Satellite and In Situ Salinity: Understanding Near-Surface Stratification and Subfootprint Variability. Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc., 97, 1391–1407, doi: 10.1175/BAMS-D-15-00032.1, 2016.
[26] Sokolov, A., Sokolov, N., Ims, R., Brucker, L., and Ehrich, D. Emergent Rainy Winter Warm Spells May Promote Boreal Predator Expansion into the Arctic. Arctic, vol. 69, no. 2, 121-129, doi:10.14430/arctic4559, 2016.
[25] Dolant, C., Langlois, A., Montpetit, B., Brucker, L., Roy, A., and Royer, A. Development of a rain-on-snow detection algorithm using passive microwave radiometry. Hydrological Processes, 30, 3184-3196, doi:10.1002/ hyp.10828, 2016.
[24] Bokhorst, S., Højlund Pedersen, S., Brucker, L., Essery, R., Anisimov, O., Bjerke, W., Brown, R., Ehrich, D., Heilig, A., Niila Inga Leavas; Ingvander, S., Johansson, C., Johansson, M., Ingibjörg Svala Jónsdóttir; Macelloni, G., Mariash, H., Mclennan, D., Rosqvist, N., Sato, A., Savela, H., Schneebeli, M., Sokolov, A., Sokratov, S., Terzago, S., Vikhamar-Schuler, D., Williamson, S. N., Qiu, Y., and Callaghan, T. V. Changing Arctic snow cover: a review of recent developments and assessment of future needs for observations, modelling and impacts. Ambio, doi:10.1007/s13280-016-0770-0, 2016.
[23] Koenig, L., Forster, R., Brucker, L., and Miller, J. Remote Sensing of Accumulation over the Greenland and Antarctic Ice Sheets. Remote Sensing of the Cryosphere, Ed. Marco Tedesco, Wiley, 408 pages, 2015.
[22] Roy, A., Royer, A., Derksen, C., Brucker, L., Langlois, A., Mialon, A., and Kerr, Y. Evaluation of Spaceborne L-band Radiometer Measurements for Terrestrial Freeze/Thaw Retrievals in Canada. IEEE Journal of Selected Topics in Applied Earth Observations and Remote Sensing, vol.8, no.7, 4442-4459, doi:10.1109/JSTARS.2015.2476358, 2015.
[21] Ivanova, N., Pedersen, L. T., Tonboe, R. T., Kern, S. Heygster, G. Lavergne, T. Sørensen, A. Saldo, R. Dybkjær, G., Brucker, L., and Shokr, M. Sea ice algorithms inter-comparison and evaluation: towards further identification of challenges and optimal approach using passive microwave observations. The Cryosphere, 9, 1797-1817, doi:10.5194/tc-9-1797-2015, 2015.
[20] Tan S., Aksoy, M., Brogioni, M., Macelloni, G., Durand, M., Jezek, K.C., Wang, T., Tsang, L., Johnson, J. T., Drinkwater, M. R., and Brucker, L. Physical Models of Layered Polar Firn Brightness Temperatures from 0.5 GHz to 2 GHz. IEEE Journal of Selected Topics in Applied Earth Observations and Remote Sensing, vol. 8, no. 7, 3681-3691, doi: 10.1109/JSTARS.2015.2403286, 2015.
[19] Vernieres, G., Kovach, Keppenne, C., R., Akella, S., Brucker, L., and Dinnat, E. The Impact of the Assimilation of Aquarius Sea Surface Salinity Data in the GEOS Ocean Data Assimilation System. J. Geophys. Res. Oceans, 119 doi:10.1002/2014JC010006, 2014.
[18] Tarabalka, Y., Charpiat, G., Brucker, L., and Menze, B. Spatio-Temporal Video Segmentation with Shape Growth or Shrinkage Constraint. IEEE Transactions on Image Processing, vol.23, no.9, 3829-3840, doi: 10.1109/TIP.2014.2336544, 2014.
[17] Brucker, L., Dinnat, E., and Koenig, L. Weekly-gridded Aquarius L-band radiometer/scatterometer observations and salinity retrievals over the polar regions, part 1: Product description, The Cryosphere, 8, 905-913, doi:10.5194/tc-8-905-2014, 2014.
[16] Brucker, L., Dinnat, E., and Koenig, L. Weekly-gridded Aquarius L-band radiometer/scatterometer observations and salinity retrievals over the polar regions, part 2: Initial product analysis, The Cryosphere, 8, 915-930, doi:10.5194/tc-8-915-2014, 2014.
[15] Brucker, L., Dinnat, E., Picard, G., and Champollion, N. Effect of snow surface metamorphism on Aquarius L-band radiometer observations at Dome C, Antarctica. IEEE Transactions on Geoscience & Remote Sensing, vol.52, no.11, 7408-7417, doi: 10.1109/TGRS.2014.2312102, 2014.
[14] Brucker, L., Cavalieri, D. J., Markus, T., and Ivanoff, A., NASA Team 2 Sea Ice Concentration Retrieval Uncertainty. IEEE Transactions on Geoscience & Remote Sensing, vol.52, no.11, 7336-7352, doi: 10.1109/TGRS.2014.2311376, 2014.
[13] Koenig, L., Miège, C., Forster, R., and Brucker, L. Initial in situ measurements of perennial meltwater storage in the Greenland firn aquifer, Geophys. Res. Lett., 41, 81-85, doi:10.1002/2013GL058083, 2014.
[12] Picard, G., Brucker, L., Roy, A., Dupont, F., Fily, M., Royer, A., and Harlow, C.: Simulation of the microwave emission of multi-layered snowpacks using the Dense Media Radiative transfer theory: the DMRT-ML model, Geosci. Model Dev., 6, 1061-1078, doi:10.5194/gmd-6-1061-2013, 2013.
[11] Brucker, L., and Markus, T. Arctic-scale assessment of satellite passive microwave-derived snow depth on sea ice using Operation IceBridge airborne data, J. Geophys. Res. Oceans, 118(6), 2892–2905, doi:10.1002/jgrc.20228, 2013.
[10] Tarabalka, Y., Brucker, L., Ivanoff, A., and Tilton, J. C. Shape-constrained segmentation approach for Arctic multiyear sea ice floe analysis. IEEE International Geoscience and Remote Sensing Symposium, 4958-4961, doi:10.1109/IGARSS.2012.6352499, 2012.
[9] Cavalieri, D. J., Markus, T., Ivanoff, A., Miller, J. A., Brucker, L., Sturm, M., Maslanik, J. A., Heinrichs, J. F., Gasiewski, A. J., Leuschen, C., Krabill, W., and Sonntag, J. A comparison of snow depth on sea ice retrievals using airborne atlimeters and an AMSR-E simulator. IEEE Transactions on Geoscience & Remote Sensing, Vol. 50, No. 8, 3027-3040, 2012.
[8] Brucker, L., Royer, A., Picard, G., Langlois, A., and Fily, M. Hourly simulations of the microwave brightness temperature of seasonal snow in Quebec, Canada, using a coupled snow evolution-emission model. Remote Sensing of Environment, Vol. 115, Issue 8, 1966-1977, 2011.
[7] Brucker, L., Picard, G., Arnaud, L., Barnola, J.M., Schneebeli, M., Brunjail, H., Lefebvre, E., and Fily, M. Modeling time series of microwave brightness temperature at Dome C, Antarctica, using vertically resolved snow temperature and microstructure measurements. Journal of Glaciology, Vol. 57, No. 201, 171-182, doi:10.3189/002214311795306736, 2011.
[6] Brucker, L., Picard, G. and Fily, M., Snow grain size profile deduced from microwave snow emissivities in Antarctica. Journal of Glaciology, Vol. 56, No. 197, 514-524, doi:10.3189/002214310792447806, 2010.
[5] Langlois, A., Royer, A., Montpetit, B., Picard, G., Brucker, L., Arnaud, L., P. Harvey-Collard, Goïta, K. and Fily, M. On the relationship between snow grain morphology and in-situ near infrared calibrated reflectance photographs. Cold Regions Science and Technology, Vol. 61, Issue 1, 34-42, 2010.
[4] Lacroix, P., Legrésy, B., Rémy, F., Blarel, F., Picard, G. and Brucker, L. Rapid change of snow surface properties at Vostok, East Antarctica, revealed by altimetry and radiometry. Remote Sensing of Environment, Vol. 113, Issue 12, 2633-2641, 2009.
[3] Langlois, A., Brucker, L., Kohn, J., Royer, A., Derksen, C., Cliche, P., Picard, G., Willemet, J.-M. and Fily, M. Simulation of snow water equivalent (SWE) using thermodynamic snow models in Québec, Canada. Journal of Hydrometeorology, Vol. 10, No. 6, 1447-1463, 2009.
[2] Picard, G., Brucker, L., Fily, M., Gallée, H. and Krinner, G. Modeling time series of microwave brightness temperature in Antarctica. Journal of Glaciology, Vol. 55, No. 191, 2009.
[1] Magand, O., Picard, G., Brucker, L., Fily, M. and Genthon, C. Snow melting bias in microwave mapping of Antarctic snow accumulation. The Cryosphere, 2(2):109-115, 2008.