The new Sentinel-2 Multi Spectral Imager instrument has a set of bands with very similar spectral windows to the main bands of the Landsat Thematic Mapper family of instruments. While these should, in principle, give broadly comparable measurements, any differences are a function not only of the differences in the sensor responses, but also of the spectral characteristics of the target pixels. In order to test for and quantify differences between these sensors, a large set of coincident imagery was assembled for the Australian landscape. Comparisons were carried out in terms of surface reflectance, and also in terms of biophysical quantities estimated from the reflectances. Small but consistent differences were found, and suitable adjustment equations fitted to enable transformation of Sentinel-2A reflectance values to more closely match Landsat-7 or Landsat-8 values. This is useful if trying to take models and thresholds fitted from Landsat and use them with Sentinel-2. The fitted adjustment equations were also compared against those fitted globally for NASA’s Harmonized Landsat-8 Sentinel-2 product, and found to be substantially different, raising the possibility that such adjustments need to be fitted on a regional basis.
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