Articles | Volume 9, issue 3
Atmos. Meas. Tech., 9, 955–962, 2016
Atmos. Meas. Tech., 9, 955–962, 2016

Research article 08 Mar 2016

Research article | 08 Mar 2016

Imager-to-radiometer in-flight cross calibration: RSP radiometric comparison with airborne and satellite sensors

Joel McCorkel1, Brian Cairns2, and Andrzej Wasilewski2,3 Joel McCorkel et al.
  • 1NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD, USA
  • 2NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies, New York, NY, USA
  • 3Trinovim LLC, New York, NY, USA

Abstract. This work develops a method to compare the radiometric calibration between a radiometer and imagers hosted on aircraft and satellites. The radiometer is the airborne Research Scanning Polarimeter (RSP), which takes multi-angle, photo-polarimetric measurements in several spectral channels. The RSP measurements used in this work were coincident with measurements made by the Airborne Visible/Infrared Imaging Spectrometer (AVIRIS), which was on the same aircraft. These airborne measurements were also coincident with an overpass of the Landsat 8 Operational Land Imager (OLI). First we compare the RSP and OLI radiance measurements to AVIRIS since the spectral response of the multispectral instruments can be used to synthesize a spectrally equivalent signal from the imaging spectrometer data. We then explore a method that uses AVIRIS as a transfer between RSP and OLI to show that radiometric traceability of a satellite-based imager can be used to calibrate a radiometer despite differences in spectral channel sensitivities. This calibration transfer shows agreement within the uncertainty of both the various instruments for most spectral channels.

Short summary
The transfer and maintenance of international radiometric standards to satellite remote-sensing instruments is a labor-intensive and costly one. The goal is to provide specific examples for calibration implementation for a potential instrument mission and, with this, advance debate on the roles that the various satellite calibration techniques play in providing the best radiometric standards for Earth-observing sensors.