Radiometric calibration of Landsat

K. Thome, B. Markham, J. Barker, P. Slater, S. Biggar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

204 Scopus citations


The radiometric calibration of the sensors on the Landsat series of satellites is a contributing factor to the success of the Landsat data set. The calibration of these sensors has relied on the preflight laboratory work as well as on inflight techniques using on-board calibrators and vicarious techniques. Descriptions of these methods and systems are presented. Results of the on-board calibrators and reflectance-based, ground reference calibrations of Landsat 5 Thematic Mapper are presented that indicate the absolute radiometric calibration of bands 1 to 4 should have an uncertainty of less than 5.0 percent. Bands 5 and 7 have slightly higher uncertainties, but should be less than 10 percent. The results also show that the on-board calibrators are of higher precision than the vicarious calibration but that the vicarious calibration results should have higher accuracy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)853-858
Number of pages6
JournalPhotogrammetric Engineering and Remote Sensing
Issue number7
StatePublished - 1997

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computers in Earth Sciences


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