Thomas Wilheit


Dr. Wilheit is currently concentrating on the Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) mission. He chairs the Intersatellite Calibration Working Group (aka X-CAL) for this mission. The working group is tasked with developing calibration adjustments for all the microwave radiometers in the constellation to make them physically consistent. As a by-product a wide variety of calibration and other performance issues in the instruments will be uncovered and corrected. He is also a member of the Radar Enhanced Radiometer Algorithm team for GPM and works on methods to translate empirical data bases generated from one instrument into equivalent databases for other instruments. In addition he does sensitivity studies on the rainfall retrieval algorithms. Dr. Wilheit is no longer accepting students.

Selected Publications

  • T. Wilheit, V. Chandrasekar, and W. Li 2007 "Impact of Uncertainty in the Drop Size Distribution on Oceanic Rainfall Retrievals from Passive Microwave Observations" Trans IEEE, Geosci & Rem. Sens. 45, 3160-3164
  • Blankenship, C.B. and T. T. Wilheit; 2000 "Passive Microwave Observations of Water Vapor Profiles During Two ENSO Events." submitted to /J.G.R atmospheres/
  • Blankenship, C.B., A al Khalaf and T. T. Wilheit; 2000: "Retrieval of Water Vapor Profiles Using SSM/T-2 and SSM/I Data" /J. Atmos. Sci. /*57,* 939-955
  • Wilheit, T. T. and K.D. Hutchison; 2000: "Retrieval of Cloud Base Heights from Passive Microwave and Cloud Top Temperature Data" /Trans. IEEE Geosci and Rem Sens. /*38,* 1253-1259
  • Chang, A.T.C., L.S. Chiu, C. Kummerow, J. Meng & T. T. Wilheit; 1999: "First Results of the TRMM Microwave Imager (TMI) Monthly Oceanic Rain Rate: Comparison with SSM/I" /Geophys. Res . Lett./ *26* 2379-2382
  • Wilheit, T. T., et al, 1977: A satellite technique for quantitatively mapping rainfall rates over the ocean. J. Appl. Met., 16, 551-560.
  • Wilheit, T. T., and A. H. Barrett, 1970: The microwave spectrum of molecular oxygen. Physical Review A, 1, 213-215.


Ph.D., Massachusetts Institute of Technology

M.A. Washington University, Physics, 1967

B.A. University of the South (cum laude), Physics, 1963


Fellow of the American Geophysical Union, 2012

Verner E. Suomi Award of the American Meteorological Society, 2009

Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, 2004

Texas A&M University Faculty Distinguished Achievement Award in Research, 2000

Fellow of the American Meteorological Society, 1998

NASA Exceptional Service Medal, 1989

NASA Medal for Exceptional Scientific Achievement, 1974

Additional Information

  • 2009-Date Research Professor, Department of Atmospheric Sciences, Texas A&M University
  • 2006-2009 Professor, Department of Atmospheric Sciences, Texas A&M University
  • 1997-2006 Brockett Professor of Geosciences, Department of Atmospheric Sciences, Texas A&M University.
  • 1989-1997 Professor, Department of Meteorology, Texas A&M University.
  • 1985-1989 Head of the Microwave Sensors and Data Communication Branch of NASA/GSFC.
  • 1971-1985 Research Scientist NASA/GSFC.


  • 1991-date American Geophysical Union (AGU) Fellow*
  • 1975-date American Meteorological Society (AMS) *Fellow*
  • 1975-date Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) *Life Fellow*
  • 1970-date American Association for the Advancement of Science, (AAAS)
  • 1963-date Phi Beta Kappa

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