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Stray Light Artifacts in Imagery from the Landsat 8 Thermal Infrared Sensor

Sigma Space Corporation, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, 8800 Greenbelt Road, Greenbelt, MD 20771, USA
Chester F. Carlson Center for Imaging Science, Rochester Institute of Technology, 54 Lomb Memorial Drive, Rochester, NY 14623, USA
Catholic University of America, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, 8800 Greenbelt Road, Greenbelt, MD 20771, USA
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, 8800 Greenbelt Road, Greenbelt, MD 20771, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Remote Sens. 2014, 6(11), 10435-10456;
Received: 6 August 2014 / Revised: 15 October 2014 / Accepted: 16 October 2014 / Published: 29 October 2014
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Landsat-8 Sensor Characterization and Calibration)
PDF [1803 KB, uploaded 29 October 2014]


The Thermal Infrared Sensor (TIRS) has been collecting imagery of the Earth since its launch aboard Landsat 8 in early 2013. In many respects, TIRS has been exceeding its performance requirements on orbit, particularly in terms of noise and stability. However, several artifacts have been observed in the TIRS data which include banding and absolute calibration discrepancies that violate requirements in some scenes. Banding is undesired structure that appears within and between the focal plane array assemblies. In addition, in situ measurements have shown an error in the TIRS absolute radiometric calibration that appears to vary with season and location within the image. The source of these artifacts has been determined to be out-of-field radiance that scatters onto the detectors thereby adding a non-uniform signal across the field-of-view. The magnitude of this extra signal can be approximately 8% or higher (band 11) and is generally twice as large in band 11 as it is in band 10. A series of lunar scans were obtained to gather information on the source of this out-of-field radiance. Analyses of these scans have produced a preliminary map of stray light, or ghost, source locations in the TIRS out-of-field area. This dataset has been used to produce a synthetic TIRS scene that closely reproduces the banding effects seen in actual TIRS imagery. Now that the cause of the banding has been determined, a stray light optics model is in development that will pin-point the cause of the stray light source. Several methods are also being explored to correct for the banding and the absolute calibration error in TIRS imagery. View Full-Text
Keywords: Landsat; TIRS; stray light; ghosting; banding Landsat; TIRS; stray light; ghosting; banding

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Montanaro, M.; Gerace, A.; Lunsford, A.; Reuter, D. Stray Light Artifacts in Imagery from the Landsat 8 Thermal Infrared Sensor. Remote Sens. 2014, 6, 10435-10456.

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