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Open AccessArticle

Illuminating the Capabilities of the Suomi National Polar-Orbiting Partnership (NPP) Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) Day/Night Band

1
Cooperative Institute for Research in the Atmosphere, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523, USA
2
Cooperative Institute for Meteorological Satellite Studies, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI 53706, USA
3
Renaissance Man Engineering, Glendale, CA 91202, USA
4
National Geophysical Data Center, National Satellite, Data and Information Service, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Boulder, CO 80305, USA
5
Satellite Meteorological Applications Section, Marine Meteorology Division, Monterey Naval Research Laboratory, CA 93907, USA
6
Center for Satellite Applications and Research, Advanced Satellite Products Branch, National Satellite, Data and Information Service, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Madison, WI 53706, USA
7
Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems, Redondo Beach, CA 90278, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Remote Sens. 2013, 5(12), 6717-6766; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs5126717
Received: 30 September 2013 / Revised: 12 November 2013 / Accepted: 13 November 2013 / Published: 6 December 2013
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Optical Remote Sensing of the Atmosphere)
Daytime measurements of reflected sunlight in the visible spectrum have been a staple of Earth-viewing radiometers since the advent of the environmental satellite platform. At night, these same optical-spectrum sensors have traditionally been limited to thermal infrared emission, which contains relatively poor information content for many important weather and climate parameters. These deficiencies have limited our ability to characterize the full diurnal behavior and processes of parameters relevant to improved monitoring, understanding and modeling of weather and climate processes. Visible-spectrum light information does exist during the nighttime hours, originating from a wide variety of sources, but its detection requires specialized technology. Such measurements have existed, in a limited way, on USA Department of Defense satellites, but the Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership (NPP) satellite, which carries a new Day/Night Band (DNB) radiometer, offers the first quantitative measurements of nocturnal visible and near-infrared light. Here, we demonstrate the expanded potential for nocturnal low-light visible applications enabled by the DNB. Via a combination of terrestrial and extraterrestrial light sources, such observations are always available—expanding many current existing applications while enabling entirely new capabilities. These novel low-light measurements open doors to a wealth of new interdisciplinary research topics while lighting a pathway toward the optimized design of follow-on satellite based low light visible sensors. View Full-Text
Keywords: satellite imagery; nighttime visible/near-infrared; moonlight satellite imagery; nighttime visible/near-infrared; moonlight
MDPI and ACS Style

Miller, S.D.; Straka, W., III; Mills, S.P.; Elvidge, C.D.; Lee, T.F.; Solbrig, J.; Walther, A.; Heidinger, A.K.; Weiss, S.C. Illuminating the Capabilities of the Suomi National Polar-Orbiting Partnership (NPP) Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) Day/Night Band. Remote Sens. 2013, 5, 6717-6766.

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