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Proceedings Paper

Role of aerosol absorption in vicarious calibration of satellite sensors
Author(s): R. N. Halthore; E. P. Shettle; B. L. Markham; S. A. Mango
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Paper Abstract

Absolute sensor calibration is the basis on which measured radiance from multiple sensors can be compared with each other or with time. Despite the increasing sophistication and reliability of on-board satellite sensor calibration systems, vicarious (or ground-look) calibration methods remain an important component of calibration validation. These methods, particularly the surface reflectance method, typically involve intensive measurements, at the time of satellite over-flight, of the surface and atmospheric properties (such as, surface reflectance and temperature, atmospheric pressure, water vapor and temperature profiles, and aerosol optical properties) that are ideally uniform, stable, and well defined. Such conditions are found, for example, in the desert southwest of the United States or in the atmosphere above high altitude lakes. A key measurement that has been often neglected and one that is becoming increasingly important due to rapid industrialization of developing countries, is the single scattering albedo of aerosols--a measure of the fraction of light that is scattered from the total amount extinguished from the direct beam; typical values range from close to 1 to 0.8 or lower for highly absorbing aerosols. It is obtained from a measurement of aerosol absorption for which many techniques are available. The error in the measurement of absorptance disproportionately impacts the error in the scattered radiance as seen by the remote sensor. Here we describe the sensitivity of sensor calibration to aerosol absorption and illustrate why it should be an important measurement in the field calibration campaigns, including those planned for the next generation satellites of the US National Polar-Orbiting Operational Environmental Satellite System.

Paper Details

Date Published: 12 December 2006
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 6407, GEOSS and Next-Generation Sensors and Missions, 64070F (12 December 2006); doi: 10.1117/12.694447
Show Author Affiliations
R. N. Halthore, Naval Research Lab. (United States)
E. P. Shettle, Naval Research Lab. (United States)
B. L. Markham, NASA Goddard Space Flight Ctr. (United States)
S. A. Mango, NPOESS Integrated Program Office (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 6407:
GEOSS and Next-Generation Sensors and Missions
Stephen A. Mango; Ranganath R. Navalgund; Yoshifumi Yasuoka, Editor(s)

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