A generalized approach to the vicarious calibration of multiple Earth observation sensors using hyperspectral data

P. M. Teillet, G. Fedosejevs, R. P. Gauthier, N. T. O'Neill, K. J. Thome, S. F. Biggar, H. Ripley, A. Meygret

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

101 Scopus citations


The paper describes a new methodology that uses spatially extensive hyperspectral imagery as reference data to carry out vicarious radiometric calibrations for multiple satellite sensors. The methodology has been validated using data from a campaign at the Railroad Valley playa test site in Nevada in June 1998. The proof of concept has been further tested based on data acquisition campaigns at the Newell County rangeland test site in Alberta in August and October 1998. The rangeland test site in the Newell County region of Alberta is tested for its suitability as a calibration test site for satellite sensor systems. All three campaigns included ground-based measurements, satellite imagery, and airborne hyperspectral data. The airborne hyperspectral sensor data were acquired using the Airborne Visible and Infrared Imaging Spectrometer (AVIRIS) at Railroad Valley and the Compact Airborne Spectrographic Imager (casi) in all three campaigns. This paper describes the formulation and implementation of the new methodology, and radiometric calibration monitoring results obtained for five different sensors: NOAA-14 AVHRR, OrbView-2 SeaWiFS, SPOT-4 VGT, SPOT-1/2 HRV, and Landsat-5 TM. The results indicate that the nominal on-orbit radiometric calibrations of all the satellite sensors fit within their predicted uncertainties. The combination of both lower-reflectance and higher-reflectance test sites is shown to improve the quality of the calibration monitoring results. In particular, the combined QUASAR monitoring results obtained from the three airborne data acquisition days at the two test sites, encompassing five satellite sensors and a total of 40 spectral band cases, yield a correlation between QUASAR-based and nominal TOA radiances characterized by y = 1.026x - 1.26, and r2 = 0.990. Temporal extensions of QUASAR data sets to calibrate satellite sensors imaging the test site one or more days away from the airborne data acquisition day yield mixed results. Crown

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)304-327
Number of pages24
JournalRemote Sensing of Environment
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2001

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Soil Science
  • Geology
  • Computers in Earth Sciences


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