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The Ground-Based Absolute Radiometric Calibration of Landsat 8 OLI

Remote Sensing Group, College of Optical Sciences, University of Arizona, 1630 E University Blvd, Tucson, AZ 85721, USA
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD 20771, USA
Office of Engineering Research, College of Engineering, South Dakota State University, Brookings, SD 57007, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Brian Markham and Prasad Thenkabail
Remote Sens. 2015, 7(1), 600-626;
Received: 1 August 2014 / Accepted: 23 December 2014 / Published: 7 January 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Landsat-8 Sensor Characterization and Calibration)
PDF [3157 KB, uploaded 14 January 2015]


This paper presents the vicarious calibration results of Landsat 8 OLI that were obtained using the reflectance-based approach at test sites in Nevada, California, Arizona, and South Dakota, USA. Additional data were obtained using the Radiometric Calibration Test Site, which is a suite of instruments located at Railroad Valley, Nevada, USA. The results for the top-of-atmosphere spectral radiance show an average difference of −2.7, −0.8, 1.5, 2.0, 0.0, 3.6, 5.8, and 0.7% in OLI bands 1–8 as compared to an average of all of the ground-based measurements. The top-of-atmosphere spectral reflectance shows an average difference of 1.6, 1.3, 2.0, 1.9, 0.9, 2.1, 3.1, and 2.1% from the ground-based measurements. Except for OLI band 7, the spectral radiance results are generally within ±5% of the design specifications, and the reflectance results are generally within ±3% of the design specifications. The results from the data collected during the tandem Landsat 7 and 8 flight in March 2013 indicate that ETM+ and OLI agree to each other to within ±2% in similar bands in top-of-atmosphere spectral radiance, and to within ±4% in top-of-atmosphere spectral reflectance. View Full-Text
Keywords: Landsat 8; OLI; radiometric calibration; surface reflectance Landsat 8; OLI; radiometric calibration; surface reflectance

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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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Czapla-Myers, J.; McCorkel, J.; Anderson, N.; Thome, K.; Biggar, S.; Helder, D.; Aaron, D.; Leigh, L.; Mishra, N. The Ground-Based Absolute Radiometric Calibration of Landsat 8 OLI. Remote Sens. 2015, 7, 600-626.

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