Landsat-7 ETM+: 12 years on-orbit reflective-band radiometric performance

Brian L. Markham, Md Obaidul Haque, Julia A. Barsi, Esad Micijevic, Dennis L. Helder, Kurtis J. Thome, David Aaron, Jeffrey S. Czapla-Myers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


The Landsat-7 ETM+ sensor has been operating on orbit for more than 12 years, and characterizations of its performance have been ongoing over this period. In general, the radiometric performance of the instrument has been remarkably stable: 1) noise performance has degraded by 2% or less overall, with a few detectors displaying step changes in noise of 2% or less; 2) coherent noise frequencies and magnitudes have generally been stable, though the within-scan amplitude variation of the 20 kHz noise in bands 1 and 8 disappeared with the failure of the scan line corrector and a new similar frequency noise (now about 18 kHz) has appeared in two detectors in band 5 and increased in magnitude with time; 3) bias stability has been better than 0.25 DN out of a normal value of 15 DN in high gain; 4) relative gains, the differences in response between the detectors in the band, have generally changed by 0.1% or less over the mission, with the exception of a few detectors with a step response change of 1% or less; and 5) gain stability averaged across all detectors in a band, which is related to the stability of the absolute calibration, has been more stable than the techniques used to measure it. Due to the inability to confirm changes in the gain (beyond a few detectors that have been corrected back to the band average), ETM+ reflective band data continues to be calibrated with the prelaunch measured gains. In the worst case, some bands may have changed as much as 2% in uncompensated absolute calibration over the 12 years.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number6069589
Pages (from-to)2056-2062
Number of pages7
JournalIEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing
Issue number5 PART 2
StatePublished - May 2012


  • Calibration
  • Enhanced Thematic Mapper Plus (ETM+)
  • Landsat
  • radiometry

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)


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