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Proceedings Paper

Uncertainty assessment of the SeaWiFS on-orbit calibration
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Paper Abstract

Ocean color climate data records require water-leaving radiances with 5% absolute and 1% relative accuracies as input. Because of the amplification of any sensor calibration errors by the atmospheric correction, the 1% relative accuracy requirement translates into a 0.1% long-term radiometric stability requirement for top-of-theatmosphere radiances. The rigorous on-orbit calibration program developed and implemented for SeaWiFS by the NASA Ocean Biology Processing Group (OBPG) Calibration and Validation Team (CVT) has allowed the CVT to maintain the stability of the radiometric calibration of SeaWiFS at 0.13% or better over the mission. The uncertainties in the resulting calibrated top-of-the-atmosphere (TOA) radiances can be addressed in terms of accuracy (biases in the measurements), precision (scatter in the measurements), and stability (repeatability of the measurements). The calibration biases of lunar observations relative to the USGS RObotic Lunar Observatory (ROLO) photometric model of the Moon are 2-3%. The biases from the vicarious calibration against the Marine Optical Buoy (MOBY) are 1-2%. The precision of the calibration derived from the solar calibration signal-tonoise ratios are 0.16%, from the lunar residuals are 0.13%, and from the vicarious gains are 0.10%. The long-term stability of the TOA radiances, derived from the lunar time series, is 0.13%. The stability of the vicariouslycalibrated TOA radiances, incorporating the uncertainties in the MOBY measurements and the atmospheric correction, is 0.30%. These results allow the OBPG to produce climate data records from the SeaWiFS ocean color data.

Paper Details

Date Published: 13 September 2011
PDF: 17 pages
Proc. SPIE 8153, Earth Observing Systems XVI, 81530B (13 September 2011); doi: 10.1117/12.892340
Show Author Affiliations
Robert E. Eplee Jr., Science Applications International Corp. (United States)
Gerhard Meister, NASA Goddard Space Flight Ctr. (United States)
Frederick S. Patt, Science Applications International Corp. (United States)
Bryan A. Franz, NASA Goddard Space Flight Ctr. (United States)
Charles R. McClain, NASA Goddard Space Flight Ctr. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 8153:
Earth Observing Systems XVI
James J. Butler; Xiaoxiong Xiong; Xingfa Gu, Editor(s)

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