The GaoFen-4 (GF-4), launched at the end of December 2015, is China’s first high-resolution geostationary optical satellite. A panchromatic and multispectral sensor (PMS) is onboard the GF-4 satellite. Unfortunately, the GF-4 has no onboard calibration assembly, so on-orbit radiometric calibration is required. Like the charge-coupled device (CCD) onboard HuanJing-1 (HJ) or the wide field of view sensor (WFV) onboard GaoFen-1 (GF-1), GF-4 also has a wide field of view, which provides challenges for cross-calibration with narrow field of view sensors, like the Landsat series. A new technique has been developed and used to calibrate HJ-1/CCD and GF-1/WFV, which is verified viable. The technique has three key steps: (1) calculate the surface using the bi-directional reflectance distribution function (BRDF) characterization of a site, taking advantage of its uniform surface material and natural topographic variation using Landsat Enhanced Thematic Mapper Plus (ETM+)/Operational Land Imager (OLI) imagery and digital elevation model (DEM) products; (2) calculate the radiance at the top-of-the atmosphere (TOA) with the simulated surface reflectance using the atmosphere radiant transfer model; and (3) fit the calibration coefficients with the TOA radiance and corresponding Digital Number (DN) values of the image. This study attempts to demonstrate the technique is also feasible to calibrate GF-4 multispectral bands. After fitting the calibration coefficients using the technique, extensive validation is conducted by cross-validation using the image pairs of GF-4/PMS and Landsat-8/OLI with similar transit times and close view zenith. The validation result indicates a higher accuracy and frequency than that given by the China Centre for Resources Satellite Data and Application (CRESDA) using vicarious calibration. The study shows that the new technique is also quite feasible for GF-4 multispectral bands as a routine long-term procedure.
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