Calibration of AVHRR sensors using the reflectance-based method

Jeffrey S. Czapla-Myers, Kurtis J. Thome, Nathan P. Leisso

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

13 Scopus citations


The Remote Sensing Group at the University of Arizona has been active in the vicarious calibration of numerous sensors through the use of ground-based test sites. Recent efforts have included work to develop cross-calibration information between these sensors using the results from the reflectance-based approach. The current work extends the cross-calibration to the AVHRR series of sensors, specifically NOAA-17, and NOAA-18. The results include work done based on data collected by ground-based personnel nearly coincident with the sensor overpasses. The available number of calibrations for the AVHRR series is increased through a set of ground-based radiometers that are deployed without the need for on-site personnel and have been operating for more than three years at Railroad Valley Playa. The spectral, spatial, and temporal characteristics of the 1-km2 large-footprint site at Railroad Valley are well understood. It is therefore well suited for the radiometric calibration of AVHRR, which has a nadir-viewing footprint of 1.1 × 1.1 km. The at-sensor radiance is predicted via a radiative transfer code using atmospheric data from a fully-automated solar radiometer. The results for AVHRR show that errors are currently larger for the automated data sets, but results indicate that the AVHRR sensors studied in this work are consistent with the Aqua and Terra MODIS sensors to within the uncertainties of each sensor.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAtmospheric and Environmental Remote Sensing Data Processing and Utilization III
Subtitle of host publicationReadiness for GEOSS
StatePublished - 2007
EventAtmospheric and Environmental Remote Sensing Data Processing and Utilization III: Readiness for GEOSS - San Diego, CA, United States
Duration: Aug 27 2007Aug 30 2007

Publication series

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


OtherAtmospheric and Environmental Remote Sensing Data Processing and Utilization III: Readiness for GEOSS
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Diego, CA


  • Calibration
  • NOAA
  • Radiometry
  • Vicarious

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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