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Remote Sens. 2016, 8(2), 84;

Assessment of S-NPP VIIRS On-Orbit Radiometric Calibration and Performance

Sciences and Exploration Directorate, NASA/GSFC, Greenbelt, MD 20771, USA
Science Systems and Applications, Inc., Lanham, MD 20706, USA
Current affiliation: Earth Resources Technology, Inc., Silver Spring, MD 20707, USA.
Current affiliation: Columbus Technologies and Services, Inc., Greenbelt, MD 20770, USA.
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Xiaofeng Li and Prasad S. Thenkabail
Received: 25 November 2015 / Revised: 6 January 2016 / Accepted: 16 January 2016 / Published: 23 January 2016
(This article belongs to the Collection Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometers and Applications)
Full-Text   |   PDF [5835 KB, uploaded 23 January 2016]   |  


The VIIRS instrument on board the S-NPP spacecraft has successfully operated for more than four years since its launch in October 2011. Many VIIRS environmental data records (EDR) have been continuously generated from its sensor data records (SDR) with improved quality, enabling a wide range of applications in support of users in both the operational and research communities. This paper provides a brief review of sensor on-orbit calibration methodologies for both the reflective solar bands (RSB) and the thermal emissive bands (TEB) and an overall assessment of their on-orbit radiometric performance using measurements from instrument on-board calibrators (OBC), as well as regularly scheduled lunar observations. It describes and illustrates changes made and to be made for calibration and data quality improvements. Throughout the mission, all of the OBC have continued to operate and function normally, allowing critical calibration parameters used in the data production systems to be derived and updated. The temperatures of the on-board blackbody (BB) and the cold focal plane assemblies are controlled with excellent stability. Despite large optical throughput degradation discovered shortly after launch in several near- and short-wave infrared spectral bands and strong wavelength-dependent solar diffuser degradation, the VIIRS overall performance has continued to meet its design requirements. Also discussed in this paper are challenging issues identified and efforts to be made to further enhance the sensor calibration and characterization, thereby maintaining or improving data quality. View Full-Text
Keywords: S-NPP; VIIRS; on-orbit; radiometric; performance; calibration S-NPP; VIIRS; on-orbit; radiometric; performance; calibration

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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).

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Xiong, X.; Butler, J.; Chiang, K.; Efremova, B.; Fulbright, J.; Lei, N.; McIntire, J.; Oudrari, H.; Wang, Z.; Wu, A. Assessment of S-NPP VIIRS On-Orbit Radiometric Calibration and Performance. Remote Sens. 2016, 8, 84.

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