Articles | Volume 6, issue 9
Research article
26 Sep 2013
Research article |  | 26 Sep 2013

Inter-calibration of polar imager solar channels using SEVIRI

J. F. Meirink, R. A. Roebeling, and P. Stammes

Abstract. Accurate calibration of satellite imagers is a prerequisite for using their measurements in climate applications. Here we present a method for the inter-calibration of geostationary and polar-orbiting imager solar channels based on regressions of collocated near-nadir reflectances. Specific attention is paid to correcting for differences in spectral response between instruments. The method is used to calibrate the solar channels of the Spinning Enhanced Visible and Infrared Imager (SEVIRI) on the geostationary Meteosat satellite with corresponding channels of the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on the polar-orbiting Aqua satellite. The SEVIRI operational calibration is found to be stable during the years 2004 to 2009, but offset by −8, −6, and +3.5 % for channels 1 (0.6 μm), 2 (0.8 μm), and 3 (1.6 μm), respectively. These results are robust for a range of choices that can be made regarding data collocation and selection, as long as the viewing and illumination geometries of the two instruments are matched. Uncertainties in the inter-calibration method are estimated to be 1 % for channel 1 and 1.5 % for channels 2 and 3. A specific application of our method is the inter-calibration of polar imagers using SEVIRI as a transfer instrument. This offers an alternative to direct inter-calibration, which in general has to rely on high-latitude collocations. Using this method we have tied MODIS-Terra and Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) instruments on National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) satellites 17 and 18 to MODIS-Aqua for the years 2007 to 2009. While reflectances of the two MODIS instruments differ less than 2 % for all channels considered, deviations of an existing AVHRR calibration from MODIS-Aqua reach −3.5 and +2.5 % for the 0.8 and 1.6 μm channels, respectively.