Irradiance-based calibration of imaging sensors

S. F. Biggar, R. P. Santer, P. N. Slater

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

22 Scopus citations


A new method giving an absolute radiometric calibration of in-flight satellite or aircraft imaging optical sensors is presented. The method uses measurements of the global and diffuse irradiance at ground level, the ground reflectance, and spectral optical depths to derive a radiance at the sensor's entrance pupil. This radiance is compared with the sensor digital counts when it images the reflectance site to determine a calibration factor. The use of the irradiance values reduces the dependence on accurate knowledge of the size distribution of the aerosol particles responsible for scattering and allows the use of approximate codes instead of radiative transfer codes. The new irradiance-based method is compared with a reflectance-based calibration method which has been used to calibrate the Thematic Mapper on Landsat 4 and 5 and the HRV cameras on SPOT 1 and 2.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Number of pages4
StatePublished - 1990
Event10th Annual International Geoscience and Remote Sensing Symposium - IGARSS '90 - College Park, MD, USA
Duration: May 20 1990May 20 1990


Other10th Annual International Geoscience and Remote Sensing Symposium - IGARSS '90
CityCollege Park, MD, USA

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science Applications
  • General Earth and Planetary Sciences


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