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RAMMB: Regional and Mesoscale Meteorology Branch logo CIRA: Cooperative Institute for Research in the Atmosphere logo NESDIS: NOAA Environmental Satellite, Data, and Information Service logo
Donald Hillger

Dr. Donald W. Hillger earned a B.S. in Physics (1973) from the University of Minnesota, and a Masters (1976) and Ph.D. (1983) in Atmospheric Science from Colorado State University. He continued as a Post Doctoral Fellow and later as a Research Associate at the Cooperative Institute for Research in the Atmosphere (CIRA) at Colorado State University before joining the Regional and Mesoscale Meteorology (RAMM) Branch of NOAA/NESDIS as a research meteorologist in 1987.

Dr. Hillger specializes in satellite meteorology from geostationary and polar-orbiting platforms, as well as satellite instrument calibration/validation, satellite data/image quality, and planning for advanced and future instrumentation. He has published many scientific journal publications, technical reports, and has made presentations at numerous national and international scientific meetings. Publications include journal articles, conference papers and presentations, technical reports, and in-house publications.

Current research emphasis includes analysis of multi-spectral and hyper-spectral imagery and the development of image products from those datasets, utilizing computer-intensive analysis methodology. Other emphasis includes the science checkout of operational polar-orbiting and geostationary satellites (such as SNPP/JPSS and GOES-R/S) after launch.


Refereed Publications

Technical Reports

Nonrefereed and Informal Publications


Hillger, D. W., and G. Toth, 2018: 60 Years of Earth Imaging from Satellites, Topical Time, 69(3), (May/June), 50-60. PDF

Gladkova, I., A. Ignotov, F. Shahriar, Y. Kihai, D. W. Hillger, and B. Petrenko, 2016: Improved VIIRS and MODIS SST Imagery. Remote Sensing, 8(1), 79, doi:10.3390/rs8010079. PDF

Miller, S. D., T. J. Schmit, C. J. Seaman, D. T. Lindsey, M. M. Gunshor, R. A. Kohrs, Y. Sumida, and D. W. Hillger, 2016: A Sight for Sore Eyes: The Return of True Color Imagery to Geostationary Satellites. Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc., 97(10), 1803-1816. PDF

Hillger, D. W., T. J. Kopp, C. J. Seaman, S. D. Miller, D. T. Lindsey, E. Stevens, J. E. Solbrig, W. C. Straka III, M. Kreller, A. Kuciauskas, and A. Terborg, 2015: User Validation of VIIRS Satellite Imagery. Remote Sensing, 8(1), 11, doi: 10.3390/rs8010011. PDF

Longmore, S. P., S. D. Miller, D. E. Bikos, D. T. Lindsey, E. J. Szoke, D. A. Molenar, D. W. Hillger, R. L. Brummer, and J. A. Knaff, 2015: An Automated Mobile Phone Photo Relay and Display Concept Applicable to Operational Severe Weather Monitoring. J. Atmos. Oceanic Technol., 32(7), 1356-1363. doi: PDF

Hillger, D. W., C. J. Seaman,  C. Liang, S. D. Miller,  D. T. Lindsey, and T. J. Kopp, 2014: Suomi NPP VIIRS Imagery evaluation.  J. Geophys. Res. Atmos.,  119(11), 6440-6454, doi:10.1002/2013JD021170. PDF

Grasso, L. D., D. W. Hillger, C. Schaaf, Z. Wang, R. L. Brummer, and R. T. DeMaria, 2013: Use of MODIS 16-day albedo values in the generation of synthetic GOES-R natural color imagery. J. Appl. Remote Sens. 7(1), 073584 (February 22), doi: 10.1117/1.JRS.7.073584.

Hillger, D. W., T. J. Kopp, T. Lee, D. T. Lindsey, C. J. Seaman, S. D. Miller, J. E. Solbrig, S. Q. Kidder, S. Bachmeier, T. Jasmin, and T. Rink, 2013: First Light Imagery from Suomi NPP VIIRS. Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc., 94(7), 1019-1029, plus cover images. doi:10.1175/BAMS-D-12-00097.1. PDF

Miller, S. D., C. C. Schmidt, T. J. Schmit, and D. W. Hillger, 2012: A case for natural colour imagery from geostationary satellites, and an approximation for the GOES-R ABI. Int. J. Remote Sens., 33(13), doi/abs/10.1080/01431161.2011.637529. PDF

Hillger, D. W., L. D. Grasso, S. D Miller, R. L. Brummer, and R. T. DeMaria, 2011: Synthetic advanced baseline imager true-color imagery.  J. Appl. Remote Sens., 5(1), 053520, doi:10.1117/1.3576112. PDF

Jankov I., L. D. Grasso, M. Sengupta, P. J. Neiman, D. Zupanski, M. Zupanski, D. T. Lindsey, D. W. Hillger, D. L. Birkenheuer, R. L. Brummer, and H. Yuan, 2011: An Evaluation of Five WRF-ARW Microphysics Schemes Using Synthetic GOES Imagery for an Atmospheric River Event Affecting the California Coast. J. Hydromet., 12(4), 618-633, doi/pdf/10.1175/2010JHM1282.1. PDF

Hillger, D. W., and S. D. Miller, 2011: GOES-R Advanced Baseline Imager (ABI) Algorithm Theoretical Basis Document (ATBD) For Natural (aka True) Color Imagery Product. (NCIP), NOAA/NESDIS/STAR, (April), 28 pp.

Hillger, D. W., and T. J. Schmit, 2009: Observing Systems: The GOES-13 Science Test. A Synopsis. Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc., 90(5), 592-597. PDF

Hillger, D. W., 2008:  GOES-R advanced baseline imager color product development. J. of Atmospheric and Oceanic Technology-A, 25(6), 853-872. PDF

Lindsey, D. T., D. W. Hillger, L. D. Grasso, J. A. Knaff, and J. F. Dostalek, 2006: GOES Climatology and Analysis of Thunderstorms with Enhanced 3.9 µm Reflectivity. Mon. Wea. Rev., 134(9), 2342–2353. PDF

Hillger, D. W., and S. Q. Kidder, 2005: A simple GOES skin temperature product, Nat. Wea. Dig., 29(4), 25-31, (December) PDF

Ellrod, G. P., B. H. Connell, and D. W. Hillger, 2003: Improved detection of airborne volcanic ash using multi-spectral infrared satellite data. J. Geophysical Research, 108(D12), 1 to 6-13, doi:10.1029/2002JD002802. PDF

Hillger, D. W., and G. P. Ellrod, 2003: Detection of important atmospheric and surface features by employing Principal Component Image transformation of GOES imagery. J. Appl. Meteor., 42(5), 611-629. PDF

Hillger, D. W., and J. D. Clark, 2002: Principal Component Image analysis of MODIS for volcanic ash, Part-1: Most important bands and implications for future GOES Imagers. J. Appl. Meteor., 41(10), 985-1001. PDF

Hillger, D.W., and J. D. Clark, 2002: Principal Component Image analysis of MODIS for volcanic ash, Part-2: Simulations of current GOES and GOES-M Imagers. J. Appl. Meteor., 41(10), 1003-1010. PDF

Hillger, D. W., and G. Toth, 2001: Barometers and isobars. Topical Time, 52(6), November/December, 17-21.

Prins, E., J. Schmetz, L. P. Flynn, D. W. Hillger, and J. M. Feltz, 2001: Overview of current and future diurnal active fire monitoring using a suite of international geostationary satellites. Global and Regional Wildfire Monitoring: Current Status and Future Plans, (F.J. Ahern, J.G. Goldammer, C.O. Justice, Editors), SPB Academic Publishing, The Hague, Netherlands, 145-170.

Kidder, S. Q., D. W. Hillger, A. J. Mostek, and K. J. Schrab, 2000: Two simple GOES imager products for improved weather analysis and forecasting. Nat. Wea. Dig., 24(4), 25-30. PDF

Hillger, D. W., 1997: Geostationary Weather Satellites. Topical Time, 48(2), March/April, 41-42, 64.

Hillger, D. W., 1997: Polar-Orbiting Weather Satellites. Topical Time, 48(4), July/August, 33-36.

Fuelberg, H. E., P. A. Rao, and D. W. Hillger, 1995: Clustering of satellite sounding radiances to investigate intense low-level humidity gradients. J. Appl. Meteor., 34(7), 1525-1535. PDF

Hillger, D. W., 1991: Standards on postage stamps. ASTM Standardization News, 19(6), 52-61.

Hillger, D. W., and J. F. W. Purdom,  1990: Clustering of satellite sounding radiances to enhance mesoscale meteorological retrievals.  J. Appl. Met.,  29(12), 1344-1351. PDF

Hillger, D. W., and L. F. Sokol, 1988: The modern metric system on postage stamps. J. Chem.Educ., 65, 384-387.

Hillger, D. W., and T. H. Vonder Haar, 1988: Estimating noise levels of remotely-sensed measurements from satellites using spatial structure analysis. J. Atmos. Ocean. Tech., 5(2), 206-214. PDF

Hillger, D. W., and L. F. Sokol, 1987: Guidelines for the use of SI units in technical writing and presentations. Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc., 68(1), 36-40. PDF

Lipton, A. E., D. W. Hillger, and T. H. Vonder Haar, 1986: Water vapor vertical profile structures retrieved from satellite data via classification and discrimination. Mon. Wea. Rev., 114(6), 1103-1111. PDF

Hillger, D. W., 1984: Spatial and temporal variations in mesoscale water vapor retrieved from TOVS infrared radiances in a nocturnal inversion situation. J. Climate and Appl. Meteor., 23(5), 704-723. PDF

Lipton, A. E. and D. W. Hillger, 1982: Objective analysis of discontinuous satellite-derived data fields for grid point interpolation. J. Appl. Meteor., 21(1