Next Article in Journal
A Simple Method for Retrieving Understory NDVI in Sparse Needleleaf Forests in Alaska Using MODIS BRDF Data
Next Article in Special Issue
The S-NPP VIIRS Day-Night Band On-Orbit Calibration/Characterization and Current State of SDR Products
Previous Article in Journal
Canopy Height Estimation in French Guiana with LiDAR ICESat/GLAS Data Using Principal Component Analysis and Random Forest Regressions
Previous Article in Special Issue
Evaluating Saturation Correction Methods for DMSP/OLS Nighttime Light Data: A Case Study from China’s Cities
Article Menu

Export Article

Open AccessArticle
Remote Sens. 2014, 6(12), 11915-11935; doi:10.3390/rs61211915

Quantitative Analysis of VIIRS DNB Nightlight Point Source for Light Power Estimation and Stability Monitoring

1
NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration)/NESDIS (National Environmental Satellite, Data, and Information Service)/STAR (Center for Satellite Applications and Research), NCWCP, E/RA2, 5830 University Research Ct., Suite 2838, College Park, MD 20740, USA
2
CICS(Cooperative Institute for Climate and Satellites), ESSC Building, RM3250, University of Maryland, 5825 University Research Ct. College Park, MD 20740, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 10 September 2014 / Revised: 18 November 2014 / Accepted: 18 November 2014 / Published: 1 December 2014
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Remote Sensing with Nighttime Lights)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [1977 KB, uploaded 1 December 2014]   |  

Abstract

The high sensitivity and advanced onboard calibration on the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) Day/Night Band (DNB) enables accurate measurements of low light radiances which leads to enhanced quantitative applications at night. The finer spatial resolution of DNB also allows users to examine social economic activities at urban scales. Given the growing interest in the use of the DNB data, there is a pressing need for better understanding of the calibration stability and absolute accuracy of the DNB at low radiances. The low light calibration accuracy was previously estimated at a moderate 15% using extended sources while the long-term stability has yet to be characterized. There are also several science related questions to be answered, for example, how the Earth’s atmosphere and surface variability contribute to the stability of the DNB measured radiances; how to separate them from instrument calibration stability; whether or not SI (International System of Units) traceable active light sources can be designed and installed at selected sites to monitor the calibration stability, radiometric and geolocation accuracy, and point spread functions of the DNB; furthermore, whether or not such active light sources can be used for detecting environmental changes, such as aerosols. This paper explores the quantitative analysis of nightlight point sources, such as those from fishing vessels, bridges, and cities, using fundamental radiometry and radiative transfer, which would be useful for a number of applications including search and rescue in severe weather events, as well as calibration/validation of the DNB. Time series of the bridge light data are used to assess the stability of the light measurements and the calibration of VIIRS DNB. It was found that the light radiant power computed from the VIIRS DNB data matched relatively well with independent assessments based on the in situ light installations, although estimates have to be made due to limited ground truth data and lack of suitable radiative transfer models. Results from time series analysis are encouraging in potentially being able to detect anomalies in the DNB calibration. The study also suggests that accurate ground based active lights, when properly designed and installed, can be used to monitor the stability of the VIIRS DNB calibration at near the specified minimum radiances (3 nW∙cm−2∙sr−1), and potentially can be used to monitor the environmental changes as well. View Full-Text
Keywords: Suomi NPP; VIIRS; DNB; nightlight; bridge; calibration/validation; accuracy; stability; point source Suomi NPP; VIIRS; DNB; nightlight; bridge; calibration/validation; accuracy; stability; point source
Figures

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

Scifeed alert for new publications

Never miss any articles matching your research from any publisher
  • Get alerts for new papers matching your research
  • Find out the new papers from selected authors
  • Updated daily for 49'000+ journals and 6000+ publishers
  • Define your Scifeed now

SciFeed Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Cao, C.; Bai, Y. Quantitative Analysis of VIIRS DNB Nightlight Point Source for Light Power Estimation and Stability Monitoring. Remote Sens. 2014, 6, 11915-11935.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics

1

Comments

[Return to top]
Remote Sens. EISSN 2072-4292 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top