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Landsat-8 Operational Land Imager Radiometric Calibration and Stability

Biospheric Sciences Laboratory, Code 618, NASA/GSFC, Greenbelt, MD 20771, USA
Science Systems and Applications, Inc., Code 618, NASA/GSFC, Greenbelt, MD 20771, USA
Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp., 1600 Commerce Street, Boulder, CO 80301, USA
Remote Sensing Group, College of Optical Sciences, University of Arizona, 1630 E University Blvd, Tucson, AZ 85721, USA
College of Engineering, South Dakota State University, Brookings, SD 57007, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Remote Sens. 2014, 6(12), 12275-12308;
Received: 30 July 2014 / Revised: 28 October 2014 / Accepted: 24 November 2014 / Published: 9 December 2014
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Landsat-8 Sensor Characterization and Calibration)


The Landsat-8 Operational Land Imager (OLI) was radiometrically calibrated prior to launch in terms of spectral radiance, using an integrating sphere source traceable to National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) standards of spectral irradiance. It was calibrated on-orbit in terms of reflectance using diffusers characterized prior to launch using NIST traceable standards. The radiance calibration was performed with an uncertainty of ~3%; the reflectance calibration to an uncertainty of ~2%. On-orbit, multiple calibration techniques indicate that the sensor has been stable to better than 0.3% to date, with the exception of the shortest wavelength band, which has degraded about 1.0%. A transfer to orbit experiment conducted using the OLI’s heliostat-illuminated diffuser suggests that some bands increased in sensitivity on transition to orbit by as much as 5%, with an uncertainty of ~2.5%. On-orbit comparisons to other instruments and vicarious calibration techniques show the radiance (without a transfer to orbit adjustment), and reflectance calibrations generally agree with other instruments and ground measurements to within the uncertainties. Calibration coefficients are provided with the data products to convert to either radiance or reflectance units. View Full-Text
Keywords: Landsat; radiometry; calibration Landsat; radiometry; calibration

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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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Markham, B.; Barsi, J.; Kvaran, G.; Ong, L.; Kaita, E.; Biggar, S.; Czapla-Myers, J.; Mishra, N.; Helder, D. Landsat-8 Operational Land Imager Radiometric Calibration and Stability. Remote Sens. 2014, 6, 12275-12308.

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