Wolfgang Wagner

Univ.Prof. Dipl.-Ing. Dr.techn.

Research Group:
Remote Sensing
Head of Department
Research Area:
Remote Sensing, Physics and Applications

Gußhausstr. 27-29 / E120 (CB0321)
Wien, 1040
Phone #:
+43 (1) 58801 - 12225
Fax #:
+43 (1) 58801 - 122 99
Wagner Wolfgang


February 7, 2017

Wolfgang Wagner was born in Wels, Austria, in 1969. He received the Dipl.-Ing. (MSc)degree in physics and the Dr.techn. (PhD) degree in remote sensing, both withexcellence, from the Vienna University of Technology (TU Wien), Austria, in1995 and 1999 respectively.

In support of his master and PhD studies he received fellowships tocarry research at the University of Bern (1993), Atmospheric EnvironmentService Canada (1994), NASA Goddard Space Flight Centre (1995), European SpaceAgency (1996), and the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission(1996-1998). From 1999 to 2001 he was with the German Aerospace Agency (DLR),first as a project assistant at the Institute of High Frequency Technology and lateras the head of the SAR Applications team at the German Remote Sensing DataCentre. In 2001 he was appointed professor for remote sensing at the Instituteof Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing of TU Wien. From 2006 to 2011 he was thehead of the Institute of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing and since October2012 he has been the head of the newly founded Department of Geodesy andGeoinformation. Further university functions have been: member of the board of theFaculty of Mathematics and Geoinformation (since 2004), member of the TU WienSenate (2006-2010), and coordinator of the Geodesy and Geoinformation group(2004-2012). Furthermore, he is co-founder of the Earth Observation Data Centrefor Water Resources Monitoring (EODC), acting as head of science since December2014.

The main research interest of Wolfgang Wagner lies in physical modelingand geophysical parameter retrieval from remote sensing data. His scope is todevelop robust algorithms, taking instrument specifications and applicationrequirements into account. He has mostly worked with active remote sensingtechniques, in particular scatterometry, SAR and airborne laser scanning(lidar), even though he has also some experience with optical and infraredsensors. Using C-band scatterometer data his research group has produced thefirst global remotely sensed soil moisture data set in 2002. The soil moistureretrieval algorithm was implemented by EUMETSAT to provide an operationalnear-real-time service for the Advanced Scatterometer (ASCAT) on-board ofMETOP. This service became operational in December 2008. The algorithms werealso successfully adapted for Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) data within ESAfunded activities. Using ScanSAR data of ENVISAT ASAR 1 km soil moisture mapsextent could be derived at continental scale for the first time. Together withresearch colleagues from VU Amsterdam and TU Wien he also developed the first30+ years global soil moisture data set by merging active and passive soilmoisture retrievals, which was the foundation for the ESA Climate ChangeInitiative (CCI) project on soil moisture which started end of 2011 under hiscoordination. In the field of lidar remote sensing Wolfgang Wagner was thecoordinator of the Christian Doppler Laboratory for "Spatial Data fromLaser Scanning and Remote Sensing", which has been supported by thirteennational and international companies, from 2003 to 2010. His main interest liesin physical modeling and calibration of full-waveform laser scanner data, appliedto the problems of improving terrain models, quantitative vegetation retrievaland object modeling.

Wolfgang Wagner is a recipient of the ISPRS Frederick J. Doyle Award forhis scientific contributions in active remote sensing. He has been author andco-author of over 180 journal papers, 20 book chapter, and 180 papers inconference proceedings. According to Google Scholar his papers have been cited morethan 12.000 times and his h-index is 57. He has held over 90 invitedpresentations at conferences, workshops and seminars. He was the foundingeditor-in-chief of the Open Access Journal "Remote Sensing" (1/2009-9/2011)and member of the editorial boards of "Hydrology and Earth System Sciences"(since 2007), "Remote Sensing" (since 9/2011), and the newly founded ISPRSInternational Journal of Geo-Information (since 1/2012).

After having been member of the GCOS/WCRP Terrestrial Observation Panelfor Climate (TOPC) from 2012 to 2016, Wolfgang Wagner became TOPC chair in 2017.He has also been member of the ISPRS International Scientific Advisory Committee(ISAC) since 2012, and member of the Science Advisory Group of METOP-SG SCAinstrument (jointly organized by EUMETSAT and ESA) since 2014. From 2004 to2010 he was member of Science Advisory Group for the Soil Moisture and OceanSalinity (SMOS) satellite of ESA, from 2003 to 2014 member of the METOP ASCATSAG, and from 2011 to 2015 member of the Mission Advisory Group of Sentinel-1(ESA). In the period 2005 to 2008 he served as committee chair of the EGUHydrologic Sciences Sub-Division on Remote Sensing & Data Assimilation andfrom 2008 to 2012 as President of Commission VII of the International Societyof Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing (ISPRS). From 2009 to 2016 he was co-chairof the Land Product Validation Subgroup on soil moisture within the CEOSWorking Group on Calibration and Validation.

Wolfgang Wagner was conference chair of the ISPRS Commission VIISymposium held on July 5-7 2010 in Vienna that formed the scientific part ofthe ISPRS Centenary Celebrations. He is one of the organizers of the SatelliteSoil Moisture Application and Validation Workshop series, which started in 2013with a workshop held at ESA ESRIN, Frascati. He has served frequently as committeemember of international conferences, such as the Earth Observation and Water CycleScience Conference 2009 jointly organized by ESA, EGU, ISPRS and GEWEX, the ISPRSWorkshops on Laserscanning 2007 and 2009, and the EUMETSAT/ESA ScatterometerScience Conferences 2011 and 2016.