User Profile: Kevin Gallo

Who Uses NASA Earth Science Data? Kevin Gallo, to improve radar and satellite estimations of hail size and damage.

Kevin Gallo (R) with co-investigator Philip Schumacher (NOAA/National Weather Service, L) at a 2011 storm survey.
Kevin Gallo (R) with co-investigator Philip Schumacher (NOAA/National Weather Service, L) at a 2011 storm survey.

Kevin Gallo, Physical Scientist, National Environmental Satellite, Data, and Information Service, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Research interests: Gallo uses satellite and in situ data to validate NOAA operational satellite data and products. He is a member of the NOAA Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite-R (GOES-R) Land Algorithm Working Group and is co-lead on developing the NOAA-U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Land Product Characterization System (LPCS). The LPCS helps facilitate the characterization and validation of land-related products from GOES-R and the Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership (Suomi-NPP) Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS).

Current research focus: Gallo and his colleagues are working on developing hail validation and assessment products for the Advanced Baseline Imager (ABI), which is the primary GOES-R instrument for imaging Earth’s weather, oceans, and environment.

Data products used:

Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) data sets available through the Land Processes Distributed Active Archive Center (LP DAAC):

  • Daily surface reflectance and vegetation index products with 500 m and 1000 m spatial resolution (short names: MOD09GA and MYD09GA)
  • Daily Land Surface Temperature utilized at 1000 m spatial resolution (short names: MOD11A1 and MYD11A1)
  • Combined Land Cover product on an annual time scale (short name: MCD12Q1)

Additional data products Gallo uses include:

  • Daily VIIRS gridded products (500 m spatial resolution), available through the Level 1 and Atmosphere Archive and Distribution System DAAC (LAADS DAAC)
  • Landsat 7 Enhanced Thematic Mapper Plus and Landsat 8 Operational Land Imager (OLI) 30 m data products, available through the USGS EarthExplorer website

Research findings: The ABI includes a near-infrared channel that permits computation of vegetation indices at five-minute intervals over the conterminous U.S. Gallo and his colleagues used MODIS and Landsat data to simulate GOES-R ABI vegetation index data. By comparing these simulated vegetation indices with observer- and radar-based assessments of hail damage and size, they found that GOES-R ABI vegetation index products—if available at a 1000 m spatial resolution—may be useful in validating the spatial extent and severity of hail events.

Read about the research:

Gallo, K., Dwyer, J., Foga, S., Jenkerson, C., Longhenry, R. & Stensaas, G. 2015. “NOAA-USGS Land Product Characterization System.” STAR JPSS 2015 Annual Science Team Meeting. Presentation available online at

Gallo, K., Schumacher, P. & Boustead, J. (Principal Investigators). 2014. “Development of GOES-R ABI Hail Validation and Assessment Products.” NASA GOES-R Proposal Abstract. Available online at

Gallo, K., Smith. T., Jungbluth, K. & Schumacher, P. 2012. “Hail Swaths Observed from Satellite Data and Their Relation to Radar and Surface-Based Observations: A Case Study From Iowa in 2009.” Wea. Forecasting 27(3), 796-802 [doi: 10.1175/WAF-D-11-00118.1].

Schumacher, P., Gallo, K. & Jungbluth, K. 2010. “Severe storm assessment using satellite data: Case studies from Iowa in 2009.” American Meteorological Society 25th Conference on Severe Local Storms. Abstract available online at

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Last Updated: Sep 13, 2019 at 8:23 AM EDT