Status of MODIS Instruments and Future Calibration Improvements

Wednesday, 16 December 2015
Poster Hall (Moscone South)
Xiaoxiong Xiong, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD, United States
MODIS is one of the key instruments currently operated on two major missions for the NASA’s Earth Observing System (EOS) program: Terra and Aqua launched in 1999 and 2002, respectively. Nearly 40 data products have been routinely generated from both Terra and Aqua MODIS observations and widely distributed to the science community and users worldwide for their studies of the earth’s system and changes in its geophysical properties. To date, each MODIS instrument operation remains nominal and its on-board calibrators (OBC) continue to function satisfactorily. On a regular basis, MODIS reflective solar bands (RSB) calibration is performed by a solar diffuser (SD) and a solar diffuser stability monitor (SDSM). For the thermal emissive bands (TEB), an on-board blackbody (BB) provides a scan-by-scan calibration reference. Since launch, extensive calibration and characterization activities have been scheduled and implemented by the MODIS Characterization Support Team (MCST) to produce and update calibration look-up tables (LUT). This presentation provides an overview of both Terra and Aqua MODIS instrument status, their on-orbit operation and calibration activities, and radiometric, spectral, and spatial performance. It describes calibration changes (algorithms and look-up tables) made for the MODIS Level 1B (L1B) data collection 6 (C6) and discusses remaining challenging issues and ongoing effort for future improvements. As expected, lessons from both Terra and Aqua MODIS have benefitted and will continue to help the S-NPP and JPSS VIIRS instruments in terms of on-orbit operation strategies and calibration enhancements.