Radiometric calibration of advanced land imager using reflectance-based results between 2001 and 2005

J. McCorkel, K. Thome, S. Biggar, M. Kuester

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

7 Scopus citations


The Landsat series of sensors have supplied the remote sensing community with a continuous data set dating to the early 1970s. An important aspect of retaining the continuity of these data is that a Landsat follow-on as well as current Landsat instruments must be understood radiometrically throughout their mission. The Advanced Land Imager (ALI), for example, was developed as a prototype for the next generation of Landsat Instruments, and as such there was a significant effort to understand its radiometric characteristics as well as how it compares with previous Landsat sensors. The Remote Sensing Group at the University of Arizona has been part of this effort since the late 2000 launch of ALI through the use of the reflectance-based method of vicarious calibration. The reflectance-based approach consists of ground-based measurements of atmospheric conditions and surface reflectance at the time of satellite overpass to predict the at-sensor radiance seen by the sensor under study. The work compares results from the reflectance-based approach obtained from well-characterized test sites such as Railroad Valley Playa in Nevada and Ivanpah Playa in California as applied to ALI, Landsat-5 TM, and Landsat-7 EMT+. The results from the comparison use a total of 14 ALI dates spanning in time from 2001 to late 2005 and show that ALI agrees with the current radiometric results from TM and ETM+ to within 5%.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationEarth Observing Systems XI
StatePublished - 2006
EventEarth Observing Systems XI - San Diego, CA, United States
Duration: Aug 14 2006Aug 16 2006

Publication series

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


OtherEarth Observing Systems XI
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Diego, CA


  • ALI
  • Absolute-radiometric calibration
  • Landsat
  • 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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