Ground-monitor radiometer system for vicarious calibration

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

17 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. Application of these approaches has been limited in the past by the fact that ground-based personnel must be present at the time of the sensor overpass. This work presents the design and implementation of a set of ground-based, ground-viewing radiometers that are deployed without the need for on-site personnel. The radiometers are based on LED detectors allowing them to be robust and inexpensive and combining the results of these measurements with known calibration of the sensors and a suitable surface BRDF model, allows the surface spectral reflectance of the test site to be determined for the sensor overpass. The at-sensor radiance can be predicted via a radiative transfer code using atmospheric data from a fully-automated solar radiometer. Early results from this approach are presented for the Landsat ETM+ and Terra and Aqua MODIS sensors. These results show that errors are currently larger for this method than those with ground-based personnel, but the increased number of calibration opportunities should improve the overall understanding of the sensor calibration.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number28
Pages (from-to)223-232
Number of pages10
JournalProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
StatePublished - 2004
EventImaging Spectrometry X - Denver, CO, United States
Duration: Aug 2 2004Aug 4 2004


  • Absolute-radiometric calibration
  • Surface reflectance
  • Vicarious 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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