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Open AccessArticle

Variation of Individual Location Radiance in VIIRS DNB Monthly Composite Images

Universität Potsdam, Institut für Erd-und Umweltwissenschaften, 14469 Potsdam, Germany
National Park Service, U.S. Department of Interior, Fort Collins, CO 80525, USA
Cooperative Institute for Research in the Environmental Sciences, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO 80305, USA
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Boulder, CO 80305, USA
GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences, 14473 Potsdam, Germany
Leibniz-Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries, 12587 Berlin, Germany
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Remote Sens. 2018, 10(12), 1964;
Received: 20 September 2018 / Revised: 26 November 2018 / Accepted: 4 December 2018 / Published: 6 December 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Remote Sensing of Night Lights – Beyond DMSP)
With the growing size and use of night light time series from the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite Day/Night Band (DNB), it is important to understand the stability of the dataset. All satellites observe differences in pixel values during repeat observations. In the case of night light data, these changes can be due to both environmental effects and changes in light emission. Here we examine the stability of individual locations of particular large scale light sources (e.g., airports and prisons) in the monthly composites of DNB data from April 2012 to September 2017. The radiances for individual pixels of most large light emitters are approximately normally distributed, with a standard deviation of typically 15–20% of the mean. Greenhouses and flares, however, are not stable sources. We observe geospatial autocorrelation in the monthly variations for nearby sites, while the correlation for sites separated by large distances is small. This suggests that local factors contribute most to the variation in the pixel radiances and furthermore that averaging radiances over large areas will reduce the total variation. A better understanding of the causes of temporal variation would improve the sensitivity of DNB to lighting changes. View Full-Text
Keywords: artificial light at night; light pollution; night lights; VIIRS DNB artificial light at night; light pollution; night lights; VIIRS DNB
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    Doi: 10.5880/GFZ.1.4.2018.012
    Description: Supplementary figures are included in the supplement. The code will be made available at DOI 10.5880/GFZ.1.4.2018.012 at the time of publication.
MDPI and ACS Style

Coesfeld, J.; Anderson, S.J.; Baugh, K.; Elvidge, C.D.; Schernthanner, H.; Kyba, C.C.M. Variation of Individual Location Radiance in VIIRS DNB Monthly Composite Images. Remote Sens. 2018, 10, 1964.

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