The ground-based absolute radiometric calibration of Landsat 8 OLI

Jeffrey Czapla-Myers, Joel McCorkel, Nikolaus Anderson, Kurtis Thome, Stuart Biggar, Dennis Helder, David Aaron, Larry Leigh, Nischal Mishra

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

122 Scopus citations


This paper presents the vicarious calibration results of Landsat 8 OLI that were obtained using the reflectance-based approach at test sites in Nevada, California, Arizona, and South Dakota, USA. Additional data were obtained using the Radiometric Calibration Test Site, which is a suite of instruments located at Railroad Valley, Nevada, USA. The results for the top-of-atmosphere spectral radiance show an average difference of -2.7, -0.8, 1.5, 2.0, 0.0, 3.6, 5.8, and 0.7% in OLI bands 1-8 as compared to an average of all of the ground-based measurements. The top-of-atmosphere spectral reflectance shows an average difference of 1.6, 1.3, 2.0, 1.9, 0.9, 2.1, 3.1, and 2.1% from the ground-based measurements. Except for OLI band 7, the spectral radiance results are generally within ±5% of the design specifications, and the reflectance results are generally within ±3% of the design specifications. The results from the data collected during the tandem Landsat 7 and 8 flight in March 2013 indicate that ETM+ and OLI agree to each other to within ±2% in similar bands in top-of-atmosphere spectral radiance, and to within ±4% in top-of-atmosphere spectral reflectance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)600-626
Number of pages27
JournalRemote Sensing
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2015


  • Landsat 8
  • OLI
  • Radiometric calibration
  • Surface reflectance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)


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