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Remote Sens. 2017, 9(10), 974;

Assessment of the NOAA S-NPP VIIRS Geolocation Reprocessing Improvements

Earth Resource Technology, Inc., NCWCP, E/RA2 5830 University Research Ct., Suite 2664, College Park, MD 20740, USA
NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration)/NESDIS (National Environmental Satellite, Data, and Information Service)/STAR (Center for Satellite Applications and Research), NCWCP, E/RA2, 5830 University Research Ct., Suite 2838, College Park, MD 20740, USA
CICS (Cooperative Institute for Climate & Satellites-Maryland)/ESSIC (Earth System Science Interdisciplinary Center), University of Maryland, 5825 University Research Court, Suite 4001, College Park, MD 20740, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 1 August 2017 / Revised: 16 September 2017 / Accepted: 18 September 2017 / Published: 21 September 2017
(This article belongs to the Collection Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometers and Applications)
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Long-term time series analysis requires consistent data records from satellites. The Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) onboard the Suomi National Polar orbiting Partner (S-NPP) satellite launched in 2011 requires a major effort to produce consistently calibrated sensor data records (SDR). Accurate VIIRS geolocation products are critical to other VIIRS products and products from other instruments on the S-NPP satellite. This paper presents methods for assessing major improvements to the VIIRS geolocation products in the ongoing National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)/Center for Satellite Applications and Research (STAR) reprocessing that incorporates all corrections in calibration parameters and SDR algorithms since launch to present. In this study, we analyzed the history of VIIRS geometric calibration parameter updates to identify optimal parameters to account for geolocation errors in the early days of the mission. A sample area located in North Western Africa was selected for validation purposes after analyzing global VIIRS and Landsat control point matching results. Geolocation products over the study region were reprocessed and I-bands/M-bands geolocation improvements were characterized by comparing geolocation errors before and after the reprocessing. Our results indicate that all short-term geolocation anomalies before the latest operational geometric calibration parameter update on 22 August 2013 were effectively minimized after reprocessing, with geolocation errors reduced from −47.1 ± 83.8 m to −23.3 ± 51.1 m (along scan) and from −15.6 ± 43.6 m to −5.9 ± 37.7 m (along track). Terrain correction for the VIIRS Day-Night-Band (DNB) was not implemented in the NOAA operational processing until 22 May 2015. In the reprocessing, it will be implemented to the entire DNB geolocation data record. DNB reprocessing improvement due to this implementation was evaluated using nighttime observations over point sources at sea level and over high altitude. Our results show that the implementation of terrain correction will reduce DNB geolocation errors at off-nadir high elevation locations from up to 9 km to ~0.5 pixel (0.375 km), comparable to those at sea level site. The reprocessed geolocation dataset will be distributed online for end-users to access. View Full-Text
Keywords: Suomi NPP; VIIRS; reprocessing; geolocation error assessment; calibration stability monitoring Suomi NPP; VIIRS; reprocessing; geolocation error assessment; calibration stability monitoring

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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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Wang, W.; Cao, C.; Bai, Y.; Blonski, S.; Schull, M.A. Assessment of the NOAA S-NPP VIIRS Geolocation Reprocessing Improvements. Remote Sens. 2017, 9, 974.

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