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Proceedings Paper

Calibration of SeaWiFS after two years on orbit
Author(s): Robert A. Barnes; Charles R. McClain
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Paper Abstract

The Sea-viewing Wide Field-of-view Sensor (SeaWiFS) was launched on 1 August 1997, and the first Earth images were taken on 4 September 1997. Regular, daily measurements of the sun, via the onboard diffuser, started on 9 September 1997 and regular, monthly measurements of the moon on November 14, 1997. These lunar measurements, as first reported at EUROPTO'98, provide a highly sensitive method for determining the change in the radiometric sensitivity of SeaWiFS. The prelaunch radiometric calibration used by SeaWiFS was performed in the Spring of 1997 at the spacecraft manufacturer's facility. The calibration measurements were made by a team from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the SeaWiFS Project. The uncertainties in this calibration range from 2% to 3% for the eight SeaWiFS bands. In addition, a set of outdoor measurements of the sun were made at the instrument manufacturer's facility in November 1993, just before the delivery of SeaWiFS to the spacecraft manufacturer. These solar measurements, using the instrument's diffuser, were combined with a separate set of solar radiometer measurements to determine the transmittance of the atmosphere. At the start of on-orbit measurements by SeaWiFS, solar measurements were made again by the instrument. These two sets of measurements make up the transfer-to-orbit experiment. From the ground measurements, the outputs of the SeaWiFS bands on orbit were predicted. For each band, the output from the initial on-orbit measurements agree with the predicted values by 21/2% or less. The uncertainties for the transfer-to-orbit experiment are estimated to be approximately 3% to 4%. From 14 November 1997 to 29 June 1999, SeaWiFS has made 20 measurements of the moon. The analysis of lunar measurements presented here has minor modifications to that presented at EUROPTO'98. The trend lines from the current analysis have been extrapolated back from 14 November 1997 to 4 September 1997 to describe the changes in the radiometric sensitivity over the first 662 days of Earth measurements. The uncertainties in these trend lines are approximately 1%. From these sources, we estimate the overall uncertainty in the SeaWiFS radiances to be about 4%. Based on the lessons learned from the ocean color program that preceded SeaWiFS, the SeaWiFS Program uses a buoy near the Hawaiian Islands to provide 'sea truth' for SeaWiFS. The buoy provides measurements of the spectral radiances leaving the ocean surface. These measurements are compared with those from the 'instrument/atmospheric algorithm system' for SeaWiFS, since an atmospheric model is used to link the spectral radiances at the top of the atmosphere to those at the ocean surface. Using MOBY, the vicarious calibration of SeaWiFS has provided corrections of 3.2% or less to the laboratory calibration coefficients for the instrument. These corrections are applied to the bands in the visible portion of the spectrum. MOBY does not provide a vicarious calibration for the bands in the near infrared.

Paper Details

Date Published: 28 December 1999
PDF: 14 pages
Proc. SPIE 3870, Sensors, Systems, and Next-Generation Satellites III, (28 December 1999); doi: 10.1117/12.373189
Show Author Affiliations
Robert A. Barnes, Science Applications International Corp. and NASA Goddard Space Flight Ctr. (United States)
Charles R. McClain, NASA Goddard Space Flight Ctr. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 3870:
Sensors, Systems, and Next-Generation Satellites III
Hiroyuki Fujisada; Joan B. Lurie, Editor(s)

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