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Open AccessArticle

Bi-Directional Reflectance Factor Determination of the Railroad Valley Playa

1
Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA 91011, USA
2
University of Lethbridge, Lethbridge, Alberta, T1K3M, Canada
3
School for the Environment, University of Massachusetts Boston, Boston, MA 02125, USA
4
Remote Sensing Technology Center of Japan, Tsukuba-city, Ibaraki, 305-0047, Japan
5
Maxar (previously DigitalGlobe), Westminster, CO 80234, USA
6
Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, Tsukuba, 305-8505, Japan
7
Earth Science Division, NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA 94035, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Remote Sens. 2019, 11(22), 2601; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs11222601
Received: 27 October 2019 / Revised: 2 November 2019 / Accepted: 4 November 2019 / Published: 6 November 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Calibration/Validation of Hyperspectral Imagery)
Vicarious calibration is the determination of an on-orbit sensor’s radiometric response using measurements over test sites such as Railroad Valley (RRV), Nevada. It has the highest accuracy when a remote sensor’s view angle is aligned with that of the surface measurements, namely at a nadir view. For view angles greater than 10, the dominant error is the uncertainty in the off-nadir correction factor. The factor is largest in the back-scatter principal plane and can reach 20%. The Orbiting-Carbon Observatory has access to a number of datasets to determine this deviation. These include measurements from field instruments such as the Portable Apparatus for Rapid Acquisition of Bidirectional Observation of the Land and Atmosphere (PARABOLA), as well as satellite measurements from Multi-angle Imaging SpectroRadiometer (MISR) and MODerate resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS). The correction factor derived from PARABOLA is consistent in time and space to within 2% for view angles as large as 30. Field spectrometer data show that the correction term is spectrally invariant. For this reason, a time-invariant model of RRV surface reflectance, along with empirically derived coefficients, is sufficient to use in the calibration of off-nadir sensors, provided there has been no recent rainfall. With this off-nadir correction, calibrations can be expected to have uncertainties within 5%.
Keywords: vicarious calibration; Railroad Valley; RadCalNet; PARABOLA; MISR; MODIS; Orbiting Carbon Observatory (OCO) vicarious calibration; Railroad Valley; RadCalNet; PARABOLA; MISR; MODIS; Orbiting Carbon Observatory (OCO)
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Bruegge, C.J.; Coburn, C.; Elmes, A.; Helmlinger, M.C.; Kataoka, F.; Kuester, M.; Kuze, A.; Ochoa, T.; Schaaf, C.; Shiomi, K.; Schwandner, F.M. Bi-Directional Reflectance Factor Determination of the Railroad Valley Playa. Remote Sens. 2019, 11, 2601.

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