Radiometric Calibration of Earth-Observing Sensors Using the Radiometric Calibration Test Site (RadCaTS)

Monday, 15 December 2014
Jeff Czapla-Myers1, Nikolaus J Anderson1, Kurtis J Thome2 and Stuart F. Biggar1, (1)University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ, United States, (2)NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD, United States
The Remote Sensing Group (RSG) of the College of Optical Sciences at the University of Arizona uses the reflectance-based approach to perform the absolute radiometric calibration of such sensors as Landsat 5 TM, Landsat 7 ETM+, Landsat 8 OLI, Terra and Aqua MODIS, ASTER, RapidEye, and others. The reflectance-based approach requires that personnel be present at a test site during the sensor overpass, so the Radiometric Calibration Test Site (RadCaTS) was developed in order to capture data during every possible overpass, which assists in the temporal trending of the radiometric calibration of earth-observing sensors. The number of earth-observing sensors is rapidly increasing in recent years, and RadCaTS provides the ability to radiometrically calibrate them without the requirement of frequent field campaigns. The 2013 launch of Landsat 8 provides a unique opportunity for RadCaTS in that it is being used to supplement the in situ measurements by RSG ground personnel, and it will be used throughout the lifetime of the Landsat 8 mission. This allows more data to be collected throughout the year, and it also allows the accuracy and uncertainty of RadCaTS to be analyzed. The current top-of-atmosphere (TOA) spectral radiance uncertainty of the reflectance-based approach is ~2.6% in the mid-visible region of the spectrum, and current work indicates that the uncertainty of RadCaTS in TOA spectral radiance is ~3–4%. This work presents the radiometric calibration results of RadCaTS for a variety of sensors such as Landsat 7 ETM+, Landsat 8 OLI, Terra and Aqua MODIS, MISR, ASTER, and Suomi NPP VIIRS.