Calibration and use of an ultra-portable field transfer radiometer for automated vicarious calibration

Kurtis Thome, Jeff Czapla-Myers, Brian Wenny, Nikolaus Anderson

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

4 Scopus citations


A small portable transfer radiometer has been developed as part of an effort to ensure the quality of upwelling radiance at automated test sites used for vicarious calibration in the solar reflective. The test sites, such as the one located at Railroad Valley, are used to predict top-of-atmosphere reflectance relying on ground-based measurements of the atmosphere and surface. The portable transfer radiometer is designed for one-person operation for on-site field calibration the instrumentation used to determine ground-leaving radiance. The current work describes the laboratorybased calibration of the transfer radiometer highlighting the expected accuracy and SI-traceability. Results from recent field deployments of the transfer radiometer are presented to show how the sensor is to be used for 1) evaluating the health of the automated site radiometers, 2) characterizing the surface being measured at the automated test sites, and 3) assessing the error budget for top-of-atmosphere reflectance prediction the test site characterization. Additionally, results from using the transfer radiometer for a radiance-based calibration of the Operational Land Imager are presented.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationEarth Observing Systems XXII
EditorsJames J. Butler, Xiaoxiong Xiong, Xingfa Gu
ISBN (Electronic)9781510612617
StatePublished - 2017
EventEarth Observing Systems XXII - San Diego, United States
Duration: Aug 6 2017Aug 10 2017

Publication series

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


OtherEarth Observing Systems XXII
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Diego


  • Preflight calibration
  • Radiometric calibration
  • SI-traceable

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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