Atmospheric measurement analysis for the Radiometric Calibration Test Site (RadCaTS)

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


The Radiometric Calibration Test Site (RadCaTS) was developed by the University of Arizona in the early 2000s to collect ground-based data in support of the calibration and validation of Earth-observing sensors. It uses the reflectance-based approach, which requires measurements of the atmosphere and surface reflectance. The measurements are used in MODTRAN to determine the at-sensor radiance for a given time and date. In the traditional reflectance-based approach, on-site personnel use an automated solar radiometer (ASR) to measure the atmospheric attenuation, but in the case of RadCaTS, an AERONET Cimel sun photometer is used to make atmospheric measurements. This work presents a comparison between the Cimel-derived atmospheric characteristics such as aerosol optical depth, the Angstrom exponent, and the columnar water vapor, to those derived using a traditional solar radiometer. The top-of-atmosphere radiance derived using the Cimel and ASR measurements are compared using Landsat 8 OLI bands as a test case for the period 2012-2014 to determine if any biases exist between the two methodologies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationEarth Observing Systems XX
EditorsJames J. Butler, Xiaoxiong Xiong, Xingfa Gu
ISBN (Electronic)9781628417739
StatePublished - 2015
EventEarth Observing Systems XX - San Diego, United States
Duration: Aug 10 2015Aug 13 2015

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
ISSN (Print)0277-786X
ISSN (Electronic)1996-756X


OtherEarth Observing Systems XX
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Diego


  • Cimel
  • Landsat 8
  • OLI
  • RadCaTS
  • absolute radiometric calibration

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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