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Proceedings Paper

Preliminary study for improving the VIIRS DNB low light calibration accuracy with ground based active light source
Author(s): Changyong Cao; Yuqing Zong; Yan Bai; Xi Shao
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Paper Abstract

There is a growing interest in the science and user community in the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) Day/Night Band (DNB) low light detection capabilities at night for quantitative applications such as airglow, geophysical retrievals under lunar illumination, light power estimation, search and rescue, energy use, urban expansion and other human activities. Given the growing interest in the use of the DNB data, a pressing need arises for improving the calibration stability and absolute accuracy of the DNB at low radiances. Currently the low light calibration accuracy was estimated at a moderate 15%-100% while the long-term stability has yet to be characterized. This study investigates selected existing night light point sources from Suomi NPP DNB observations and evaluates the feasibility of SI traceable nightlight source at radiance levels near 3 nW·cm−2·sr−1, that potentially can be installed at selected sites for VIIRS DNB calibration/validation. The illumination geometry, surrounding environment, as well as atmospheric effects are also discussed. The uncertainties of the ground based light source are estimated. This study will contribute to the understanding of how the Earth’s atmosphere and surface variability contribute to the stability of the DNB measured radiances, and how to separate them from instrument calibration stability. It presents the need for SI traceable active light sources to monitor the calibration stability, radiometric and geolocation accuracy, and point spread functions of the DNB. Finally, it is also hoped to address whether or not active light sources can be used for detecting environmental changes, such as aerosols.

Paper Details

Date Published: 8 September 2015
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 9607, Earth Observing Systems XX, 96070D (8 September 2015); doi: 10.1117/12.2187580
Show Author Affiliations
Changyong Cao, NESDIS/STAR, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (United States)
Yuqing Zong, National Institute of Standards and Technology (United States)
Yan Bai, Univ. of Maryland, College Park (United States)
Xi Shao, Univ. of Maryland, College Park (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 9607:
Earth Observing Systems XX
James J. Butler; Xiaoxiong (Jack) Xiong; Xingfa Gu, Editor(s)

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