Articles | Volume 7, issue 8
Research article
12 Aug 2014
Research article |  | 12 Aug 2014

Introduction of the in-orbit test and its performance for the first meteorological imager of the Communication, Ocean, and Meteorological Satellite

D. H. Kim and M. H. Ahn

Abstract. The first geostationary Earth observation satellite of Korea – the Communication, Ocean, and Meteorological Satellite (COMS) – was successfully launched on 27 June 2010. After arrival at its operational orbit, the satellite underwent an in-orbit test (IOT) that lasted for about 8 months. During the IOT period, the main payload for the weather application, the meteorological imager, went through successful tests for demonstrating its function and performance, and the test results are introduced here.

The radiometric performance of the meteorological imager (MI) is tested by means of signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) for the visible channel, noise-equivalent differential temperature (NEdT) for the infrared channels, and pixel-to-pixel nonuniformity for both the visible and infrared channels. In the case of the visible channel, the SNR of all eight detectors is obtained using the ground-measured parameters with the background signals obtained in orbit. The overall performance shows a value larger than 26 at 5% albedo, exceeding the user requirement of 10 by a significant margin. Also, the relative variability of detector responsivity among the eight visible channels meets the user requirement, showing values within 10% of the user requirement. For the infrared channels, the NEdT of each detector is well within the user requirement and is comparable with or better than the legacy instruments, except for the water vapor channel, which is slightly noisier than the legacy instruments. The variability of detector responsivity of infrared channels is also below the user requirement, within 40% of the requirement, except for the shortwave infrared channel. The improved performance result is partly due to the stable and low detector temperature obtained due to spacecraft design, i.e., by installing a single solar panel on the opposite side of the MI.