Vicarious calibration of Aqua and Terra MODIS

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54 Scopus citations


The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) is onboard both the Terra and Aqua platforms. An important aspect of the use of MODIS, and other Earth Science Enterprise sensors, has been the characterization and calibration of the sensors and validation of their data products. The Remote Sensing Group at the University of Arizona has been active in this area through the use of ground-based test sites. This paper presents the results from the reflectance-base approach using the Railroad Valley Playa test site in Nevada for both Aqua and Terra MODIS. The key to the approach is the measurement of surface reflectance over a 1-km 2 area of the playa and results from this method shows agreement with both MODIS sensors to better than 5%. Early results indicate that while the two sensors both agree with the ground-based measurements to within the uncertainties of the reflectance-based approach, there were significant differences between the Aqua and Terra MODIS for data prior to September 2002. Recent results indicate that this bias, if any, is now within the uncertainties of the reflectance-based method of calibration.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)395-405
Number of pages11
JournalProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
StatePublished - 2003
EventEarth Observing Systems VIII - San Diego, CA, United States
Duration: Aug 3 2003Aug 6 2003


  • Absolute-radiometric calibration
  • Atmospheric correction
  • Vicarious calibration

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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