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Revisiting Pseudo Invariant Calibration Sites (PICS) Over Sand Deserts for Vicarious Calibration of Optical Imagers at 20 km and 100 km Scales

1
NOVELTIS, 153 rue du Lac, 31670 Labège, France
2
ONERA, The French Aerospace Lab, 2 Avenue Edouard Belin, 31055 Toulouse, France
3
Laboratoire des Sciences du Climat et de l’Environnement, **LSCE/IPSL, CEA-CNRS-UVSQ**, Université Paris-Saclay, 91191 Gif sur Yvette, France
4
European Space Agency, Keplerlaan 1, PB 299, NL-2200 AG, Noordwijk, The Netherlands
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Remote Sens. 2019, 11(10), 1166; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs11101166
Received: 29 March 2019 / Revised: 10 May 2019 / Accepted: 13 May 2019 / Published: 15 May 2019
(This article belongs to the Collection Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometers and Applications)
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Abstract

In-flight assessment of the radiometric performances of space-borne instruments can be achieved by means of vicarious calibration over Pseudo-Invariant Calibration Sites (PICS). PICS are chosen for the high temporal stability of their surface optical properties combined with a high spatial homogeneity. A first list of the main desert PIC sites was identified 20 years ago for the calibration of medium/coarse spatial resolution instruments in the solar spectral range (400–2500 nm). They are located in the Saharan desert and in the Arabian Peninsula. Six of them have since been endorsed by the CEOS/WGCV/IVOS as reference Calibration/Validation test sites. In this study, we have revisited the list of desert PIC sites at the global scale with the aim of (1) assessing if these twenty PICS are still “optimal”, in terms of temporal stability and spatial uniformity, and using up-to-date multi-spectral remote sensing data, and (2) identifying new calibration sites distributed over other areas of the world. We verified that the original sites remain very relevant, although alternate locations in their close vicinity have slightly better characteristics. We proposed four additional targets with similar characteristics, some of which may offer easier logistical access. In order to support radiative transfer simulations of satellite sensor measurements over the sites, we assessed the abilities of several semi-empirical models to reproduce the spectro-directional signatures of six IVOS sites and the four new candidate sites, and we derived climatologies of the main atmospheric properties (trace gas column load and aerosol optical depth). View Full-Text
Keywords: calibration; sand desert PICS; surface optical properties; BRDF; AOD; cloud fraction; trace gas climatology calibration; sand desert PICS; surface optical properties; BRDF; AOD; cloud fraction; trace gas climatology
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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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Bacour, C.; Briottet, X.; Bréon, F.-M.; Viallefont-Robinet, F.; Bouvet, M. Revisiting Pseudo Invariant Calibration Sites (PICS) Over Sand Deserts for Vicarious Calibration of Optical Imagers at 20 km and 100 km Scales. Remote Sens. 2019, 11, 1166.

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