Rune Solberg

Head of Section for Earth Observation


Contact coordinates

                                      Norwegian Computing Center

                                      Section for Earth Observation

Visiting address:         Gaustadalléen 23, Oslo, Norway

Mail address:              P.O. Box 114 Blindern, N-0314 Oslo, Norway

Phone:                          (+47) 22 85 25 00 / 22 85 26 92 (direct line)

Fax:                              (+47) 22 69 76 60





Rune Solberg is head of the Section for Earth Observation in the SAMBA department of the Norwegian Computing Center (Norsk Regnesentral – NR). He has been with NR since 1985 and started to work on remote sensing R&D projects in the late 1980s. He established remote sensing as a specific research area in NR in the mid 1990s, and became Chief Scientist for remote sensing in NR in 1999. Remote sensing had at that time grown to a significant R&D area with national as well as international projects. Rune Solberg became Head of Section in 2007 when the Section for Earth Observation was established as a formal organisational unit.


Rune Solberg has comprehensive experience in carrying out earth observation R&D, managing R&D projects and developing proposals. He has developed more than 130 project proposals and led more than 50 projects. This includes EU Framework Programme projects where he has been project coordinator (see EuroClim, FOREMMS and ENVISYS).


The main focus of Rune Solberg’s research interests is to develop methodology for automatic and semi-automatic retrieval of information from remote sensing data. The motivation is related to data complexity and data volumes, which makes it hard or even impossible for a human being to interpret the dataset manually. Current methodological challenges include analysis of very complex data: multi-sensor, time-series, multi-scale and hyperspectral sensor data sets. Approaches may include pure physical modelling, pure statistical modelling or hybrid approaches. Some problems also require pattern recognition approaches. His work includes application as diverse as snow parameter monitoring, topographic map revision, marine oil spill detection, soil erosion monitoring, monitoring forest health and climate-change monitoring.


One of the current R&D interests is to develop methodology for better and more accurate remote sensing of snow parameters in order to better understand the cryospheric component of the Earth System, in particular to monitor climate change (see the EuroClim project). He is currently developing new approaches, methodology and algorithms for high-precision retrieval of snow cover in mountainous terrain, included forested mountains (see NextGenRS project).


Key scientific qualifications: 

·        General image analysis, radiometric and geometric correction, feature extraction, classification and pattern recognition

·        Geophysical and statistical modelling and variable retrieval

·        Methodology for multi-sensor, time-series, multi-scale and hyperspectral sensor data analysis

·        Analysis of data from optical sensors, imaging spectrometers, active and passive microwave sensors and lidars

·        Applications including cryospherical variable retrieval, snow parameter retrieval, topographic map revision, marine oil spill detection, soil erosion monitoring, monitoring forest health and climate-change monitoring


Key management qualifications:

·        Chief Scientist for remote sensing R&D in NR since 1999 and Head of NR’s Section for Earth Observation since 2007

·        Developed more than 130 project R&D project proposals

·        Project leader of more than 50 R&D projects for the Research Council of Norway, Norwegian Space Centre, European Space Agency, European Commission and other national and international governmental and commercial organisations

·        EU Framework Programme project consortium leader since 1996


Participation in committees, boards and councils:

·        Member of various scientific committees, including: The 4th International Symposium on High Mountain Remote Sensing, 1996; International Symposium on Remote Sens­ing in Glaciology, 2001; and European Association of Remote Sensing Laboratories (EARSeL), Land Ice and Snow Special Interest Group’s Workshop in 2002 and 2005

·        Scientific expert advisor in various committees, including: Advisory group for The Committee on Earth Observation Satellites (CEOS) response to the Global Climate Observing System (GCOS) Implementation Plan submitted to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (2006); and The Integrated Global Observing Strategy (IGOS) Cryosphere Theme (2006)




Other activities and hobbies:

·        President of the astronomical society Deep Sky Exploration

·        Director of the astronomical observatory NOVA

·        Chief editor of the astronomical magazine Astro Rapport