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Proceedings Paper

Improvement of low temperature estimation for MODIS thermal emissive bands by adjusting calibration offset and nonlinear terms
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Paper Abstract

MODIS is a major instrument for the NASA EOS Terra and Aqua missions, launched in December 1999 and May 2002 respectively. MODIS has 16 thermal emissive bands and they are calibrated using an onboard blackbody (BB) based on a nonlinear second order relationship. While the gains of the MODIS thermal bands are calibrated on a scan-by-scan basis, the offset and non-linear terms are determined either from prelaunch or on-orbit measurements during scheduled BB warm-up and cool-down cycles. A major concern on determination of the offset and non-linear terms from on-orbit BB measurements is that the controlled BB temperature range is relative small compared to the temperature range used in prelaunch tests, which could have impacts on the retrieval of brightness temperatures (BT) well outside the calibration range. In this study, the stability of offset and non-linear terms obtained from BB warm-up/cool-down cycles is presented. Several approaches to derive the on-orbit offset and non-linear terms are used and their impacts on the Earth scene BT estimates are examined. By comparison with BT derived using prelaunch offset and nonlinear terms under the same electronic configuration, it is shown that the current approach of deriving on-orbit offset and nonlinear terms applied in L1B radiance products causes positive BT biases of exceeding 1K at low temperatures for middle- to longwave IR bands. Comparison of MODIS and AIRS (The Atmospheric Infrared Sounder), both on-board Aqua spacecraft, for cold temperature scenes at Antarctica for two long-wave IR bands also indicates that there are temperature-dependent positive BT biases for about the same magnitudes. Results of this study have a significant impact on improving the current approach of setting a0 and a2 used to produce MODIS L1B data products.

Paper Details

Date Published: 27 September 2007
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 6677, Earth Observing Systems XII, 66771H (27 September 2007); doi: 10.1117/12.730478
Show Author Affiliations
A. Wu, Science Systems and Applications, Inc. (United States)
X. Xiong, NASA Goddard Space Flight Ctr. (United States)
B. Wenny, Science Systems and Applications, Inc. (United States)
C. Moeller, SSEC/CIMSS (United States)
N. Chen, Science Systems and Applications, Inc. (United States)
K. Chiang, Science Systems and Applications, Inc. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 6677:
Earth Observing Systems XII
James J. Butler; Jack Xiong, Editor(s)

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