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Providing uncertainty estimates of the Sentinel-2 top-of-atmosphere measurements for radiometric validation activities

Gorroño, Javier, Hunt, Samuel, Scanlon, Tracy, Banks, Andrew, Fox, Nigel, Woolliams, Emma, Underwood, Craig, Gascon, Ferran, Peters, Marco, Fomferra, Norman , Govaerts, Yves, Lamquin, Nicolas and Bruniquel, Veronique (2018) Providing uncertainty estimates of the Sentinel-2 top-of-atmosphere measurements for radiometric validation activities European Journal of Remote Sensing, 51 (1). pp. 650-666.

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As part of the Sentinel-2 mission, a Radiometric Uncertainty Tool (RUT) has been recently released to the community. This tool estimates the Sentinel-2 radiometric uncertainty associated with each pixel in the top-of-atmosphere (TOA) reflectance factor images provided by the European Space Agency (ESA). The use of such information enables users to assess the “fitness for purpose” of the data to their specific application. The work described here summarises the efforts and results of integrating the RUT for radiometric validation activities for the Sentinel-2 mission. Starting from the results provided by the RUT, the focus will be on providing a methodology to calculate the uncertainty associated with the mean TOA reflectance factor in a Region of Interest (ROI). Two different methods – one simple method directly using the RUT and a more rigorous one based on Monte Carlo method (MCM) propagation – are proposed and compared. These two methods focus on the effect of the spectral, spatial and temporal correlation of the errors in different ROI pixels and the impact of correlation on the uncertainty associated with the mean TOA reflectance factor. The study has also considered the impact of uncertainty contributions not included in the first version of the RUT.

Item Type: Article
Divisions : Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences > Electronic Engineering > Surrey Space Centre
Authors :
Gorroño, Javier
Hunt, Samuel
Scanlon, Tracy
Banks, Andrew
Fox, Nigel
Woolliams, Emma
Gascon, Ferran
Peters, Marco
Fomferra, Norman
Govaerts, Yves
Lamquin, Nicolas
Bruniquel, Veronique
Date : 1 June 2018
DOI : 10.1080/22797254.2018.1471739
Copyright Disclaimer : © 2018 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License (, which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Uncontrolled Keywords : Uncertainty; Sentinel-2; Radiometric validation; Correlation
Additional Information : This work was supported by the European Space Agency (Scientific Exploitation of Operational Missions (SEOM) S2-4Sci Land and Water Radiometric Validation Contract No.SEOM.1426.ACR-NPL.i1r0), the National Measurement System of the UK government’s Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, and the European Metrology Research Programme (EMRP). The EMRP is jointly funded by the EMRP participating countries within EURAMET and the European Union.
Depositing User : Diane Maxfield
Date Deposited : 25 Sep 2019 10:44
Last Modified : 25 Sep 2019 10:44

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