GaoFen6 (GF-6), successfully launched on June 2, 2018, is the sixth satellite of the High-Definition Earth observation system (HDEOS). Although GF-6 is the first high-resolution satellite in China to achieve precise agricultural observation, it will be widely used in many other domains, such as land survey, natural resources management, emergency management, ecological environment and so on. The GF-6 was not equipped with an onboard calibration instrument, so on-orbit radiometric calibration is essential. This paper aimed at the on-orbit radiometric calibration of the wide field of view camera (WFV) onboard GF-6 (GF-6/WFV) in multispectral bands. Firstly, the radiometric capability of GF-6/WFV is evaluated compared with the Operational Land Imager (OLI) onboard Landsat-8, Multi Spectral Instrument (MSI) onboard Sentinel-2 and Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) onboard Terra, which shows that GF-6/WFV has an obvious attenuation. Consequently, instead of vicarious calibration once a year, more frequent calibration is required to guarantee its radiometric consistency. The cross-calibration method based on the Badain Jaran Desert site using the bi-directional reflectance distribution function (BRDF) model calculated by Landsat-8/OLI and ZY-3/Three-Line Camera (TLC) data is subsequently applied to GF-6/WFV and much higher frequencies of calibration are achieved. Finally, the cross-calibration results are validated using the synchronized ground measurements at Dunhuang test site and the uncertainty of the proposed method is analyzed. The validation shows that the relative difference of cross-calibration is less than 5% and it is satisfied with the requirements of cross-calibration.
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