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Journal of Applied Remote Sensing

Radiometric and spectral characterization and comparison of the Antarctic Dome C and Sonoran Desert sites for the calibration and validation of visible and near-infrared radiometers
Author(s): Sirish Uprety; Changyong Cao
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Paper Abstract

Global climate change studies require long-term, radiometrically accurate, and stable observations from a number of satellites. Spatially uniform and radiometrically/spectrally stable vicarious calibration sites can be used to quantify the sensor gain change over time, monitor the instrument performance, and compare measurements from multiple instruments to maintain consistent radiometric calibration. This study uses AQUA moderate resolution imaging spectroradiometer (MODIS), MetOp-A advanced very high resolution radiometer (AVHRR), and Earth Observing-1 Hyperion to analyze the radiometric and spectral characteristics of the Dome C and Sonoran Desert sites and perform intercomparisons. The radiometric stability of both sites over a period of eight years as evaluated using AQUA MODIS is found to be better than 2% in the visible (0.64 μm) and near-infrared regions (0.86  μm), assuming the MODIS calibration is stable. The bidirectional reflectance distribution (BRDF) effect over Dome C is large, with greater than 5% seasonal variation, compared to the Sonoran Desert with less than 2% variation. However, the BRDF impact can be reduced to less than 2% for Dome C after normalization by an appropriate BRDF model. For water vapor absorption channels, such as AVHRR channel 2 (0.86  μm), this study suggests that the Sonoran Desert is largely affected with greater than 6% absorption variability compared to that of Dome C with less than 2%. The study also reveals that the operationally calibrated AVHRR top-of-atmosphere reflectance is lower than that of MODIS by about 8%.

Paper Details

Date Published: 3 July 2012
PDF: 16 pages
J. Appl. Rem. Sens. 6(1) 063541 doi: 10.1117/1.JRS.6.063541
Published in: Journal of Applied Remote Sensing Volume 6, Issue 1
Show Author Affiliations
Sirish Uprety, Colorado State Univ. (United States)
Changyong Cao, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (United States)

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