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Proceedings Paper

Assessment of the clouds and the Earth’s Radiant Energy System (CERES) instrument performance and stability on the Aqua, Terra, and S-NPP spacecraft
Author(s): Nathaniel P. Smith; Susan Thomas; Mohan Shankar; Phillip C. Hess; Natividad M. Smith; Dale R. Walikainen; Robert S. Wilson; Kory J. Priestley
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Paper Abstract

The Clouds and the Earth’s Radiant Energy System (CERES) scanning radiometer is designed to measure reflected solar radiation and thermal radiation emitted by the Earth. Five CERES instruments are currently taking active measurements in-orbit with two aboard the Terra spacecraft (FM1 and FM2), two aboard the Aqua spacecraft (FM3 and FM4), and one aboard the S-NPP spacecraft (FM5). The CERES instrument uses three scanning thermistor bolometers to make broadband radiance measurements in the shortwave (0.3 – 5.0 micrometers), total (0.3 - >100 micrometers) and water vapor window (8 – 12 micrometer) regions. An internal calibration module (ICM) used for in-flight calibration is built into the CERES instrument package consisting of an anodized aluminum blackbody source for calibrating the total and window sensors, and a shortwave internal calibration source (SWICS) for the shortwave sensor. The ICM sources, along with a solar diffusor called the Mirror Attenuator Mosaic (MAM), are used to define shifts or drifts in the sensor response over the life of the mission. In addition, validation studies are conducted to understand any spectral changes that may occur with the sensors and assess the pointing accuracy of the instrument, allowing for corrections to be made to the radiance calculations in CERES data products. This paper covers the observed trends in the internal and solar calibration data, discusses the latest techniques used to correct for sensor response, and explains the validation studies used to assess the performance and stability of the instrument.

Paper Details

Date Published: 8 September 2015
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 9607, Earth Observing Systems XX, 96070T (8 September 2015); doi: 10.1117/12.2190110
Show Author Affiliations
Nathaniel P. Smith, Science Systems and Applications, Inc. (United States)
Susan Thomas, Science Systems and Applications, Inc. (United States)
Mohan Shankar, Science Systems and Applications, Inc. (United States)
Phillip C. Hess, Science Systems and Applications, Inc. (United States)
Natividad M. Smith, Science Systems and Applications, Inc. (United States)
Dale R. Walikainen, Science Systems and Applications, Inc. (United States)
Robert S. Wilson, Science Systems and Applications, Inc. (United States)
Kory J. Priestley, NASA Langley Research Ctr. (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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