dr. Dominik Rains

Dominik Rains is specialized in retrieval of geophysical variables, data assimilation, high-performance computing and machine-learning.

Dominik RainsBio

My expertise lies in extracting geophysical variables from Level 1 ‘raw’ satellite data, e.g. SMOS, SMAP or Sentinel-1. I work on data assimilation, combining the advantages of the spatio-temporally sparse observations with those of estimates from land surface models, linking the model estimates to the observations either through traditional radiative transfer modelling or machine-learning.

Besides working in academia, I have experience in working at and collaborating with private Earth Observation companies delivering operational products to clients (VISTA / VanderSat). Before joining Ghent University I worked at the European Space Agency (ESA/ESRIN) for two years as a trainee funded by the German Aerospace Center (DLR).

I have carried out research visits at FZ Jülich, Monash University and University College London and I am a collaborator at the Earth Observation Science group of the University of Leicester.

My current project ET-SENSE is on assimilating observations from the Sentinel satellites into the GLEAM land surface model. It is funded by the Belgian Federal Science Policy Office (BELSPO).


Address: Coupure links 653 - Room A2.008

               9000 Ghent, Belgium

Phone: +32 9 264 61 37

E-mail: Dominik.Rains@UGent.be


  • 2019 – Present: Post-doctoral Researcher – Ghent University, Laboratory of Hydrology and Water Management
  • 2015 – 2019: Doctoral Researcher – Ghent University, Laboratory of Hydrology and Water Management
  • 2013 – 2015: Researcher at ESA/ESRIN - German Trainee Programme funded by the German Aerospace Center (DLR)
  • 2008 – 2013: M.Sc. in Physical Geography / Environmental Systems - Ludwig-Maximilians University Munich

Recent and ongoing projects


Selected publications