Martin Gade was born in Lüneburg, Germany, in 1964. In 1991, he joined the Remote Sensing Unit at the Institute of Oceanography of the University of Hamburg. He received his first degree (Dipl. Phys.) in physics from the Department of Physics at the University of Hamburg and the doctoral degree (Dr. rer. nat.) from the Department of Geosciences at the University of Hamburg in 1992 and 1996, respectively.
Dr. Gade's main research interest is directed towards coastal processes and air-sea interactions, and their remote sensing using active microwave sensors such as scatterometers and synthetic aperture radar (SAR). Apart from his various analyses of data from spaceborne radar sensors he has been actively involved in laboratory and field remote sensing experiments with optical, infrared, and microwave sensors, in their analyses, and in the theoretical interpretation of the results obtained.
He started his carreer performing dedicated experiments in the wind-wave tank of the University of Hamburg investigating the influence of monomolecular surface films (slicks) on fluxes of energy and momentum at the air-water interface and on the radar backscattering from the water surface. Later, he expanded this research towards the influence of heavy articifical rain on the wave and current field, the generation of sub-surface turbulence, and the way it changes the backscattering of radar signals.
In order to improve our understanding of radar signatures of marine surface films visible on SAR imagery, Dr. Gade organized and participated in field experiments in the German Bight of the North Sea, where artificial (quasi-) biogenic and anthropogenic surface films were deployed during the Spaceborne Imaging Radar-C / X-Band SAR (SIR-C/X-SAR) missions in April and October 1994. Parallel to the SIR-C/X-SAR images taken from the space shuttle Endeavor he performed radar backscatter measurements from a helicopter with the five-frequency/multipolarization scatterometer HELISCAT of the University of Hamburg. Along with the analyses of multiple SIR-C/X-SAR imagery of marine surface films in coastal environments those field experiments formed the basis of Dr. Gade's pioneering research articles on the monitoring of marine oil pollution by spaceborne radar.
From the late 1990s on, Dr. Gade has organized and lead some improvements and remodelling of HELISCAT, allowing its deployment not only on a helicopter during surface film experiments, but also on a radar tower at the mouth of the river Elbe (2000) for longterm measurements of rain-induced radar backscattering from water surfaces. Later, HELISCAT was also flown during an Arctic Expedition of R/V Polarstern (2004).
Dr. Gade has been actively involved in a number of national and international projects focussing on the (radar) remote sensing of marine coastal environments. From the mid 1990s, he has used SAR data acquired by the European ERS-1, ERS-2 and ENVISAT satellites to assess the mean marine oil pollution in different European marginal seas. His approach, to infer mean spatial and temporal oil pollution indices for dedicated coastal regions, has been adopted by scientists worldwide. More recently, he assessed the marine oil pollution in Indonesian coastal waters using large quantities of routinely acquired SAR images from various satellite missions.
In the late 1990s, Dr. Gade was first to use multiple high-resolution satellite images to infer sea surface current fields through manifestations of ongoing algae blooms on optical, infrared and SAR imagery. Together with colleagues from the Universities of Stockholm (Dept. of Physical Geography) and Hamburg (Department of Informatics), and from the Space Research Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, Russia, he identified and tracked sub-mesoscale ocean surface vortices (eddies) in the Baltic and Black Seas. In 2006, he joined colleagues from the Far-Eastern Branch of the Pacific Oceanological Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences in Vladivostok, Russia, on a field campaign at their Marine Experimental Station at Vityaz' Bay for dedicated surface film experiments during ENVISAT overpasses. More recently, in collaboration with the Helmholtz Centre Geesthacht and the Université de Liège, he has been working on the detection, quantification, and characterization of sub-mesoscale eddies and near-coastal gyres in the Mediterranean, Black and Red Seas.
Starting in the early 2000s, Dr. Gade has analyzed a great deal of multi-polarization SAR imagery of exposed intertidal flats in the German Bight of the North Sea with the aim of discriminating different sediment types, identifying salt marshes and seagrass meadows, and detecting bivalve beds. He was first to demonstrate that SAR images acquired at different radar frequencies can be used for a crude sediment classification on exposed sand and mud flats. Along those lines, he derived indicators for bivalve (oyster) beds from time series of SAR images and, more recently, through polarimetric decompositions of multi- (dual-co-) polarization SAR imagery. The data analyses have been done in close collaboration with colleagues from the Institute of Remote Sensing and Digital Earth, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China, while field surveys were done together with colleagues from local National Park Agencies and from Brockmann Consult.
Dr. Gade has been Principal Investigator of a number of research projects aiming at using data from European, Canadian and Japanese spaceborne SAR sensors not only for the routine observation of dedicated phenomena in worldwide coastal areas, but also for the development and improvement of algorithms and methods that help towards an optimized use of SAR data for the routine monitoring of coastal processes and of the marine coastal environment.
In December 2000, Dr. Gade was visiting scientist at the Dept. of Physical Geography of the University of Stockholm, Sweden. In 2002, he was with the Applied Physics Laboratory of the University of Washington in Seattle, WA, USA. In 2018, Dr. Gade was appointed a Guest Researcher of Tianjin University, China.
Dr. Gade has been invited as guest lecturer to various institutes worldwide, e.g. to the
Dr. Gade has published more than 40 papers in peer-reviewed journals and books, and more than 120 papers elsewhere (e.g. in