Ultra-portable field transfer radiometer for vicarious calibration of earth imaging sensors

Kurtis Thome, Brian Wenny, Nikolaus Anderson, Joel McCorkel, Jeffrey Czapla-Myers, Stuart Biggar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


A small portable transfer radiometer has been developed as part of an effort to ensure the quality of upwelling radiance from test sites used for vicarious calibration in the solar reflective. The test sites are used to predict top-of-atmosphere reflectance relying on ground-based measurements of the atmosphere and surface. The portable transfer radiometer is designed for one-person operation for on-site field calibration of instrumentation used to determine ground-leaving radiance. The current work describes the detector- and source-based radiometric calibration of the transfer radiometer highlighting the expected accuracy and SI-traceability. The results indicate differences between the detector-based and source-based results greater than the combined uncertainties of the approaches. Results from recent field deployments of the transfer radiometer using a solar radiation based calibration agree with the source-based laboratory calibration within the combined uncertainties of the methods. The detector-based results show a significant difference to the solar-based calibration. The source-based calibration is used as the basis for a radiance-based calibration of the Landsat-8 Operational Land Imager that agrees with the OLI calibration to within the uncertainties of the methods.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S104-S117
Issue number3
StatePublished - Apr 13 2018


  • radiometric calibration
  • remote sensing
  • vicarious calibration

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Engineering(all)


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