SeaWiFS transfer-to-orbit experiment

Robert A. Barnes, Robert E. Eplee, Stuart F. Biggar, Kurtis J. Thome, Edward F. Zalewski, Philip N. Slater, Alan W. Holmes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


We present the results of an experiment designed to measure the changes in the radiometric calibration of the Sea-viewing Wide Field-of-view Sensor (SeaWiFS) from the time of its manufacture to the time of the start of on-orbit operations. The experiment uses measurements of the Sun at the manufacturer’s facility to predict the instrument outputs during solar measurements immediately after launch. Because an onboard diffuser plate is required for these measurements, the experiment measures changes in the instrument-diffuser system. There is no mechanism in this experiment to separate changes in the diffuser from changes in the instrument. For the eight SeaWiFS bands, the initial instrument outputs on orbit averaged 0.8% higher than predicted with a standard deviation of 0.9%. The greatest difference was 2.1% (actual output higher than predicted) for band 3. The estimated uncertainty for the experiment is 3%. Thus the transfer-to-orbit experiment shows no changes in the radiometric sensitivities of the SeaWiFS bands–at the 3% level–from the completion of the instrument’s manufacture to its insertion into orbit.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5620-5631
Number of pages12
JournalApplied optics
Issue number30
StatePublished - Oct 20 2000

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Engineering (miscellaneous)
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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