Imperial College London

Professor Helen Brindley

Faculty of Natural SciencesDepartment of Physics

Professor in Earth Observation



+44 (0)20 7594 7673h.brindley




717Huxley BuildingSouth Kensington Campus





Dr Brindley completed her PhD at Imperial College in 1998 having studied the impact of greenhouse gas forcing on the Earth’s radiation field at high spectral resolution, with particular emphasis on the role of water vapour in the far infra-red (FIR) region.  Over the next five years she continued her research within the Space and Atmospheric Physics group, working on, amongst other topics, the radiometric calibration of the Geostationary Earth Radiation Budget (GERB) instrument; studies of the change in greenhouse forcing observed from satellite; and detailed evaluations of the influence of imperfect temporal and spatial sampling on spectrally resolved radiance fields. In 2003 she won a NERC Fellowship to investigate the impact of aerosol on the Earth's Radiation Budget.  Her work in this area led to the subsequent award of a NERC Advanced Fellowship in 2006 and she was appointed to a lectureship position at Imperial in 2011.  Dr Brindley is currently Imperial PI on major field and modelling campaigns taking place in the western Sahara and southern Africa, and is collaborating with King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) to investigate the radiative effects of aerosol over the Red Sea and its surroundings.  She has maintained her interest is the exploitation of spectrally resolved measurements for climate monitoring, including the role of the FIR, and to this end she is leading Imperial's involvement in NASA's CLARREO and NPL's TRUTHS satellite missions.  Additional activities include multi-disciplinary projects aimed at better understanding interactions between mineral dust and vegetation and quantifying the potential impact of dust events on solar energy generation from the desert.


Invited Lectures and Presentations

EGU 2011: Using geostationary satellite data to quantify the effects of mineral dust aerosol on the Earth’s radiation budget

Royal Meteorological Society, 2001:  Using spectral radiances to investigate climate variability: Application to IRIS and IMG

AMS, 2001: Changes in the Earth’s resolved outgoing longwave radiation field as seen from the IRIS and IMG instruments

AGU Chapman Conference, 1999: On the Utilisation of Spectral Radiances to Investigate Climate Variability


Richard Washington, University of Oxford (Joint project lead), Dust for Models - improving model dust schemes, 2011 - 2011

Bruce Wielicki, David Young, NASA, CLARREO - monitoring decadal climate change from space using spectral radiances and GPS observations, 2010

Richard Washington, University of Oxford (Consortium project lead), The Saharan climate system, 2010 - 2013

Nicolas Clerbaux, Royal Meteorological Institute of Belgium, Generation of broadband fluxes from measured radiances for BBR on EarthCare, 2009 - 2010

Roy Grainger, University of Oxford (consortium leader), Appraising the direct impacts of aerosol on climate, 2008 - 2009

Roy Grainger, University of Oxford, Direct radiative effect of Saharan dust over north-west Africa and the tropical Atlantic, 2005 - 2007

Guest Lectures

The ERB from space, NCAS, Cambridge, 2011

Investigating mineral dust radiative effects with GERB and SEVIRI, Environmental Systems Science Centre, Reading, 2010

Aerosols and Climate, ESA Summer School, Alpbach, Austria, 2010

Assessing the top-of-atmosphere longwave direct radiative effect of Saharan dust using geostationary satellite observations, Cambridge University, 2009

Assessing the radiative effect of Saharan dust using geostationary satellite observations, University of Edinburgh, 2008

Estimating the direct radiative effect of Saharan dust using GERB and SEVIRI, University of Reading, 2007

Research Staff




Research Student Supervision

Ansell,C, Investigating the impact of aerosol assimilation on NWP model performance

Chan,N, Solar Concentrator photovoltaic electricity generation from the desert

Ingram,J, Tropical convection, upper tropospheric moistening and the Earth's radiation budget

Jabry,D, Study of a far-infrared spectrometer for climate studies

Kindyni,N, Development of an algorithm to detect smoke aerosol from European wildfires for application to GERB and SEVIRI (MSc)

Williams,S, Remote sensing of the controls on dust emission - links to wildfire and vegetation phenology