Unified approach to absolute radiometric calibration in the solar-reflective range

Philip N. Slater, Stuart F. Biggar, James M. Palmer, Kurtis J. Thome

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Scopus citations


The need is identified for a unified approach to the preflight and in-flight absolute radiometric calibration of satellite sensors, which does not depend on the accurate transfer of lamp and detector calibrations from the laboratory to orbit. Such an approach is described that uses the sun to provide the link between preflight solar radiation-based calibration (SRBC), in-flight solar diffuser-based calibration, and vicarious calibration. Examples are given of these methods and uncertainty estimates are provided. It is shown that an uncertainty, with respect to solar exoatmospheric irradiance, of <3%, Iσ, can be attained for each method and that each can, if needed, be accurately related to national laboratory standards. In addition to providing the link between preflight and in-flight on-board calibrations, this unified approach also fills the critical need to relate these calibrations to those of the radiometers used for vicarious calibration and data-product, field-validation measurements, by also referencing them to the same solar-irradiance scale.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)293-303
Number of pages11
JournalRemote Sensing of Environment
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2001

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Soil Science
  • Geology
  • Computers in Earth Sciences


Dive into the research topics of 'Unified approach to absolute radiometric calibration in the solar-reflective range'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this