Absolute radiometric calibration of the noaa avhrr sensors

P. M. Teillet, P. N. Slater, Y. Mao, Y. Ding, B. Yuan, R. J. Bartell, S. F. Biggar, R. P. Santer, R. D. Jackson, M. S. Moran

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Three different approaches are described for the absolute radiometric calibration of the two reflective channels of the NOAA AVHRR sensors. Method 1 relies on field measurements and refers to another calibrated satellite sensor that acquired high-resolution imagery on the same day as the AVHRR overpass. Method 2 makes no reference to another sensor and is essentially an extension of the reflectance-based calibration method developed at White Sands for the in-orbit calibration of Landsat TM and SPOT HRV data. Method 3 achieves a calibration by reference to another satellite sensor, but it differs significantly from the first approach in that no ground reflectance and atmospheric measurements are needed on overpass day. Calibration results have been obtained using these methods for four NOAA-9 AVHRR images and for one NOAA-10 AVHRR image. A significant degradation in NOAA-9 AVHRR responsivity has occurred since the prelaunch calibration and with time since launch. The responsivity of the NOAA-10 AVHRR has also degraded significantly compared to the prelaunch calibration. The suitabilities of using Method 2 with the Rogers Dry Lake site in California and using Methods 1 and 3 at White Sands are discussed. The results for Method 3, which requires no field measurements and makes use of a simplified atmospheric model, are very promising, implying that a reasonable calibration of satellite sensors may be relatively straightforward.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)196-207
Number of pages12
JournalProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
StatePublished - Oct 12 1988

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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