Field calibration of reference reflectance panels

Ray D. Jackson, M. Susan Moran, Philip N. Slater, Stuart F. Biggar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

106 Scopus citations


The measurement of radiation reflected from a surface must be accompanied by a near-simultaneous measurement of radiation reflected from a reference panel in order to calculate a bidirectional reflectance factor for the surface. Adequate calibration of the reference panel is necessary to assure valid reflectance-factor data. A procedure is described by which a reference panel can be calibrated with the sun as the irradiance source, with the component due to diffuse flux from the atmosphere subtracted from the total irradiance. Furthermore, the radiometer that is used for field measurements is also used as the calibration instrument. The reference panels are compared with a pressed polytetrafluoroethylene (halon) standard. The advantages of this procedure over conventional laboratory calibration methods are, first, that the irradiance and viewing geometry is the same as is used in field measurements and, second, that the needed equipment is available, or can be constructed, at most field research laboratories, including the press necessary to prepare the halon standard. A disadvantage of the method is that cloud-free sky conditions are required during the measurement period. The accuracy of the method is estimated to be 1%. Calibration results are given for four reference panels.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)145-158
Number of pages14
JournalRemote Sensing of Environment
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jun 1987

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Soil Science
  • Geology
  • Computers in Earth Sciences


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