Recent results from the Radiometric Calibration Test Site (RadCaTS) at Railroad Valley, Nevada

Jeffrey S. Czapla-Myers, Nathan P. Leisso

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

6 Scopus citations


The Radiometric Calibration Test Site (RadCaTS) is an automated approach to ground-based vicarious calibration that does not require on-site personnel during the overpass of an airborne or spaceborne sensor. The concept originates as an attempt to increase the amount of ground-based data that are collected throughout the year. All-weather instruments are used to measure atmospheric and surface conditions. The data are used in an automated processing scheme to produce top-of-atmosphere spectral radiance, which are then compared to the sensor under test. RadCaTS has been located at Railroad Valley, Nevada, since 2004, but the concept is applicable to any site that is suitable for vicarious calibration. Railroad Valley was chosen to test the RadCaTS concept because it has been used by the Remote Sensing Group (RSG) for over 15 years and is well understood. This work describes the RadCaTS automated concept, and outlines the automated processing scheme that is used to determine the surface reflectance. A description of the instrumentation used to measure the surface reflectance and atmosphere is presented, followed by a discussion of their placement on the site, and also their calibration. Finally, the RadCaTS ground-based results are compared to those from Aqua and Terra MODIS in 2008, and Landsat 7 ETM+ in 2009.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationEarth Observing Systems XV
StatePublished - 2010
EventEarth Observing Systems XV - San Diego, CA, United States
Duration: Aug 3 2010Aug 5 2010

Publication series

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


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


  • Absolute calibration
  • Aqua
  • Landsat 7 ETM+
  • Terra
  • 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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