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Radiometric inter-sensor cross-calibration uncertainty using a traceable high accuracy reference hyperspectral imager

Gorrono, Javier, Banks, AC, Fox, NP and Underwood, Craig (2017) Radiometric inter-sensor cross-calibration uncertainty using a traceable high accuracy reference hyperspectral imager ISPRS Journal of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing, 130. pp. 393-417.

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Optical earth observation (EO) satellite sensors generally suffer from drifts and biases relative to their pre-launch calibration, caused by launch and/or time in the space environment. This places a severe limitation on the fundamental reliability and accuracy that can be assigned to satellite derived information, and is particularly critical for long time base studies for climate change and enabling interoperability and Analysis Ready Data. The proposed TRUTHS (Traceable Radiometry Underpinning Terrestrial and Helio-Studies) mission is explicitly designed to address this issue through re-calibrating itself directly to a primary standard of the international system of units (SI) in-orbit and then through the extension of this SI-traceability to other sensors through in-flight cross-calibration using a selection of Committee on Earth Observation Satellites (CEOS) recommended test sites. Where the characteristics of the sensor under test allows, this will result in a significant improvement in accuracy. This paper describes a set of tools, algorithms and methodologies that have been developed and used in order to estimate the radiometric uncertainty achievable for an indicative target sensor through in-flight cross-calibration using a well-calibrated hyperspectral SI-traceable reference sensor with observational characteristics such as TRUTHS. In this study, Multi-Spectral Imager (MSI) of Sentinel-2 and Landsat-8 Operational Land Imager (OLI) is evaluated as an example, however the analysis is readily translatable to larger-footprint sensors such as Sentinel-3 Ocean and Land Colour Instrument (OLCI) and Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS). This study considers the criticality of the instrumental and observational characteristics on pixel level reflectance factors, within a defined spatial region of interest (ROI) within the target site. It quantifies the main uncertainty contributors in the spectral, spatial, and temporal domains. The resultant tool will support existing sensor-to-sensor cross-calibration activities carried out under the auspices of CEOS, and is also being used to inform the design specifications for TRUTHS.

Item Type: Article
Divisions : Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences > Electronic Engineering
Authors :
Banks, AC
Fox, NP
Date : 14 July 2017
DOI : 10.1016/j.isprsjprs.2017.07.002
Copyright Disclaimer : Copyright 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. on behalf of International Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing, Inc. (ISPRS). This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (
Uncontrolled Keywords : TRUTHS; Inter-sensor cross-calibration; Pseudo Invariant Calibration Site (PICS); Radiometric uncertainty
Depositing User : Melanie Hughes
Date Deposited : 18 Jul 2017 11:44
Last Modified : 16 Jan 2019 18:54

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