Radiometric performance of the Landsat 9 Operational Land Imager over the first 8 months on orbit

Esad Micijevic, Julia Barsi, Md Obaidul Haque, Raviv Levy, Cody Anderson, Kurt Thome, Jeffrey Czapla-Myers, Dennis Helder

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

3 Scopus citations


The Landsat 9 satellite was launched on September 27, 2021 to continue systematic imaging of the Earth’s land surfaces. Together with Landsat 8, it provides coverage of the entire Earth every 8 days. Landsat 9 carries the Operational Land Imager (OLI), which is practically a copy of the Landsat 8 OLI, and the Thermal Infrared Sensor (TIRS). In this paper we demonstrate the excellent radiometric performance of Landsat 9 OLI over its first several months of operations on orbit. On-board calibrator data were used to assess the sensor’s radiometric performance characteristics. All spectral bands are radiometrically stable to within 0.1%. The signal-to-noise performance is stable and is 3 to 8% better than Landsat 8. The bias stability is better than 1 DN (Digital Number). The validation of the absolute calibration performed with surface measurements indicated the OLI was calibrated to within 5% in spectral radiance and 3% in reflectance. Still, a comparison between Landsat 9 and Landsat 8 OLI derived top-of-atmosphere reflectance indicated small disagreements between the instruments in all spectral bands, The absolute radiometric calibration of Landsat 9 OLI was adjusted to be in closer agreement with Landsat 8 OLI before products were released to the public.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationEarth Observing Systems XXVII
EditorsJames J. Butler, Xiaoxiong Xiong, Xingfa Gu
ISBN (Electronic)9781510654488
StatePublished - 2022
EventEarth Observing Systems XXVII 2022 - San Diego, United States
Duration: Aug 23 2022Aug 25 2022

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
ISSN (Print)0277-786X
ISSN (Electronic)1996-756X


ConferenceEarth Observing Systems XXVII 2022
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Diego


  • calibration
  • characterization
  • Landsat 9
  • OLI
  • performance
  • radiometry

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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