Vicarious Calibration of eMAS, AirMSPI, and AVIRIS Sensors during FIREX-AQ

Carol J. Bruegge, G. Thomas Arnold, Jeffrey Czapla-Myers, Rose Anne Dominguez, Mark C. Helmlinger, David R. Thompson, Jeannette Van Den Bosch, Brian N. Wenny

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Remote sensing instruments, both aircraft and on-orbit platforms, undergo extensive laboratory calibrations to determine their geometric, spectral, and radiometric responses. Additional in-flight radiometric calibrations can be performed using well-characterized earth targets. The Fire Influence on Regional to Global Environments and Air Quality (FIREX-AQ) campaign provided such an opportunity when the ER-2 aircraft overflew Railroad Valley on August 13 and 15, 2019. Surface reflectances were available from the August 4, 2019 field team and from the Radiometric Calibration Network (RadCalNet) portal, and spectral aerosol optical depths from an on-site AERosol RObotic NETwork (AERONET) sunphotometer. The Enhanced MODIS Airborne Simulator (eMAS), the Airborne Multiangle SpectroPolarimetric Imager (AirMSPI), and the 'Classic' Airborne Visible/Infrared Imaging Spectrometer (AVIRIS-C) sensors individually performed a vicarious calibration using their respective methodologies and selection of input parameters. A comparison of the at-sensor radiances predicted from these independent analyses highlights some of the uncertainties in the inputs, including choice of solar irradiance model. Although good agreement, within 5%, is found at visible wavelengths, difference can be as large as 15% in the shortwave infrared (SWIR). This highlights the need for the remote sensing community to agree upon a standard solar model, to remove sensor-to-sensor biases derived from in-flight calibrations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)10286-10297
Number of pages12
JournalIEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1 2021


  • Airborne Multiangle SpectroPolarimetric Imager (AirMSPI)
  • Airborne Visible/Infrared Imaging Spectrometer (AVIRIS)
  • Enhanced MODIS Airborne Simulator (eMAS)
  • Fire Influence on Regional to Global Environments and Air Quality (FIREX-AQ)
  • Railroad Valley (RRV)
  • radiometric calibration
  • vicarious calibration (VicCal)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)


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