An external view of the Met Office building at night.

Dr Roger Saunders

Areas of expertise

  • Meteorological satellite data.

  • Radiative transfer.

  • Data assimilation.

  • Climate monitoring.

Publications by Roger

Current activities

The work of the Satellite Applications section encompasses improving the use of current satellite imagery  (e.g. from Meteosat) in the Unified Model and deriving products from the imagery for assimilation and nowcasting. Another area of work is to contribute to the EUMETSAT-sponsored NWP SAF through the development of fast radiative transfer models for satellite data assimilation. A key part of the group's activities is improving the way satellite data are exploited in the Met Office Numerical Weather Prediction models. Roger also works closely with the Met Office Hadley Centre for Climate Science and Services in order to ensure optimal use is made of satellite data for climate monitoring and validation of climate model process studies.

Career background

Roger started his meteorological career by doing a PhD in atmospheric physics at Imperial College London, on the transmission of the atmosphere at millimetre wavelengths. Before joining the Met Office, he worked in a number of different institutes, including the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, the European Space Operations Centre and University College London. These jobs all related to making better use of satellite data. In the Met Office, he worked in the Met Research Flight (the precursor to FAAM), where he led the group which made radiation measurements from the C-130 aircraft, and co-ordinated several field campaigns with the aircraft based in the South Atlantic (FATE) and the Mediterranean (MASTEX) to measure water vapour continuum absorption and validate satellite radiometers (i.e. ATSR, AVHRR). He was then appointed as the AMSU-B instrument scientist overseeing the pre-launch testing of the radiometer at Farnborough. During 1995-1999 he was head  of the Satellite Section at ECMWF where he had responsibility for making use of new types of satellite data in the NWP model. He took the scientific lead in the ongoing development of a fast radiative transfer model, RTTOV, for assimilating satellite radiances. He also provided advice on the use of satellite data in the ERA-40 reanalysis. He now works at the Met Office at Exeter as part of the Satellite Applications section (which he led until 2017) with the aim of making better use of satellite data for NWP and climate modelling.

External Recognition

  • Co-chair of the EUMETSAT-sponsored IASI Science Sounder Working Group from 1998 to 2002.
  • Co-chair of the International TOVS Working Group from 2002 to 2006.
  • Co-chair of the THORPEX Data Assimilation and Observing Systems working group from 2010 to 2014.
  • Led the ESA Climate Modelling Users Group, which is part of the ESA Climate Change Initiative, until 2017.
  • Member of the GCOS Atmosphere Ocean Panel for Climate between 2010 and 2017.
  • Member of the EUMETSAT CM-SAF Steering Group.