Special Issue "Fiducial Reference Measurements for Satellite Ocean Colour"

A special issue of Remote Sensing (ISSN 2072-4292). This special issue belongs to the section "Ocean Remote Sensing".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 April 2020).

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Andrew Clive Banks
Website
Guest Editor
Institute of Oceanography, Hellenic Centre for Marine Research, Former US Base Gournes, 71500 Hersonissos, Crete, Greece
Interests: Earth observation; satellite oceanography (biological and physical); ocean colour; marine optics; radiative transfer modelling; climate change; processing, validation and vicarious calibration of satellite data; accuracy of satellite and in situ data (uncertainty and SI traceability); fiducial reference measurements; essential climate variables; open ocean and coastal remote sensing of the Hellenic Seas and Eastern Mediterranean
Dr. Christophe Lerebourg
Website
Guest Editor
ACRI-ST, 260 Route du Pin Montard, BP 234, 06904 Sophia-Antipolis, France
Interests: signal processing; optics and lasers; data acquisition; calibration; aerosols; uncertainty analysis; optical metrology
Dr. Kevin Ruddick
Website
Guest Editor
Royal Belgian Institute for Natural Sciences (RBINS), 100 Gelledelle, 1200 Brussels, Belgium
Dr. Gavin Tilstone
Website
Guest Editor
Plymouth Marine Laboratory (PML), Prospect Place, Plymouth PL1 3DH, UK
Interests: optics; photosynthesis; primary production; phytoplankton biology; remote sensing
Dr. Riho Vendt
Website
Guest Editor
Tartu Observatory (TO), University of Tartu, Observatooriumi 1, EE-61602 Tõravere, Estonia
Interests: Metrology, calibration and testing; SI traceability and uncertainty evaluation; characterization of measurement instruments; quality assurance; data validation; accuracy of in situ data; fiducial reference measurements; design of intercomparison measurements and analysis of comparison data; optical radiometry; thermometry, thermal effects and modelling; Earth observation; space technology

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Fiducial Reference Measurements (FRM) are a suite of independent ground measurements that provide the maximum return on investment for a satellite mission by delivering to users the required confidence in data products, in the form of independent validation results and satellite measurement uncertainty estimation, over the entire end-to-end duration of a satellite mission. The FRM must have documented traceability to the SI units (in terms of an unbroken chain of calibrations and comparisons), be independent from the satellite retrieval process, have evaluated uncertainty budgets for all FRM instruments and measurement procedures applied, have defined and adhered-to protocols and community-wide management practices, and be openly available for independent scrutiny.

Within this context, the European Space Agency (ESA) has funded a series of projects targeting the validation of satellite data products (e.g., for altimetry, atmosphere, land, and ocean) and setting up the framework, standards, and protocols for future satellite validation efforts. The FRM4SOC project has been structured to provide support for evaluating and improving the state of the art in Ocean Colour Radiometry (OCR) through a series of comparisons under the auspices of the Committee on Earth Observation Satellites (CEOS) Working Group on Calibration & Validation and in support of the CEOS ocean colour virtual constellation. The methods of OCR give us valuable information on the management of the marine ecosystem, the role of the ocean ecosystem in climate change, aquaculture, fisheries, coastal zone water quality, and the mapping and monitoring of harmful algal blooms. This is how the FRM4SOC project makes a fundamental contribution to the European system for monitoring the Earth (Copernicus).

The objectives of the FRM4SOC, in particular, are to establish and maintain SI-traceable ground-based FRM for satellite OCR with the relevant protocols and uncertainty budgets for an ongoing international reference measurement system supporting the validation of satellite ocean colour. This is in support of ensuring the high quality and accuracy of Copernicus satellite mission data, in particular the Sentinel-2 MSI and Sentinel-3 OLCI ocean colour products.

The final workshop of the FRM4SOC project will take place at the National Physical Laboratory of the UK on October 4–5, 2018 (see https://frm4soc.org/index.php/activities/final_workshop/ ). This workshop has the title of "The Fiducial Reference Measurement Network for Satellite Ocean Colour" and the objective of forming an ocean colour community consensus-driven scientific roadmap for the future of satellite ocean colour validation.

In addition to the papers resultant from the FRM4SOC project and workshop, we invite the remote sensing community to submit papers on this presently “hot” topic in earth observation. Anything relevant to working towards fiducial reference measurements for satellite ocean colour validation or vicarious calibration will be accepted, for example on the following topics covered in the FRM4SOC workshop:

  • Ocean Colour Radiometry (OCR) calibration source inter-comparisons;
  • Laboratory-based OCR inter-comparisons;
  • Field-based OCR inter-comparisons;
  • SI traceability and end-to-end uncertainty budgets–from calibration to field measurements;
  • Improvements in ocean colour radiometers, their calibration, and characterisation;
  • Measurement requirements and protocols when operating FRM OCR for satellite validation
  • Satellite ocean colour validation measurements and their uncertainties;
  • FRM in the context of ocean colour system vicarious calibration;

Dr. Andrew Clive Banks
Dr. Christophe Lerebourg
Dr. Kevin Ruddick
Dr. Gavin Tilstone
Dr. Riho Vendt
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Remote Sensing is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • satellite ocean colour
  • fiducial reference measurements (FRM)
  • calibration and validation
  • SI traceability and uncertainty
  • Copernicus
  • European Space Agency (ESA)
  • CEOS

Published Papers (15 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle
Comparison of Above-Water Seabird and TriOS Radiometers along an Atlantic Meridional Transect
Remote Sens. 2020, 12(10), 1669; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs12101669 - 22 May 2020
Abstract
The Fiducial Reference Measurements for Satellite Ocean Color (FRM4SOC) project has carried out a range of activities to evaluate and improve the state-of-the-art in ocean color radiometry. This paper described the results from a ship-based intercomparison conducted on the Atlantic Meridional Transect 27 [...] Read more.
The Fiducial Reference Measurements for Satellite Ocean Color (FRM4SOC) project has carried out a range of activities to evaluate and improve the state-of-the-art in ocean color radiometry. This paper described the results from a ship-based intercomparison conducted on the Atlantic Meridional Transect 27 from 23rd September to 5th November 2017. Two different radiometric systems, TriOS-Radiation Measurement Sensor with Enhanced Spectral resolution (RAMSES) and Seabird-Hyperspectral Surface Acquisition System (HyperSAS), were compared and operated side-by-side over a wide range of Atlantic provinces and environmental conditions. Both systems were calibrated for traceability to SI (Système international) units at the same optical laboratory under uniform conditions before and after the field campaign. The in situ results and their accompanying uncertainties were evaluated using the same data handling protocols. The field data revealed variability in the responsivity between TRiOS and Seabird sensors, which is dependent on the ambient environmental and illumination conditions. The straylight effects for individual sensors were mostly within ±3%. A near infra-red (NIR) similarity correction changed the water-leaving reflectance (ρw) and water-leaving radiance (Lw) spectra significantly, bringing also a convergence in outliers. For improving the estimates of in situ uncertainty, it is recommended that additional characterization of radiometers and environmental ancillary measurements are undertaken. In general, the comparison of radiometric systems showed agreement within the evaluated uncertainty limits. Consistency of in situ results with the available Sentinel-3A Ocean and Land Color Instrument (OLCI) data in the range from (400…560) nm was also satisfactory (−8% < Mean Percentage Difference (MPD) < 15%) and showed good agreement in terms of the shape of the spectra and absolute values. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fiducial Reference Measurements for Satellite Ocean Colour)
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Open AccessArticle
Field Intercomparison of Radiometer Measurements for Ocean Colour Validation
Remote Sens. 2020, 12(10), 1587; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs12101587 - 16 May 2020
Abstract
A field intercomparison was conducted at the Acqua Alta Oceanographic Tower (AAOT) in the northern Adriatic Sea, from 9 to 19 July 2018 to assess differences in the accuracy of in- and above-water radiometer measurements used for the validation of ocean colour products. [...] Read more.
A field intercomparison was conducted at the Acqua Alta Oceanographic Tower (AAOT) in the northern Adriatic Sea, from 9 to 19 July 2018 to assess differences in the accuracy of in- and above-water radiometer measurements used for the validation of ocean colour products. Ten measurement systems were compared. Prior to the intercomparison, the absolute radiometric calibration of all sensors was carried out using the same standards and methods at the same reference laboratory. Measurements were performed under clear sky conditions, relatively low sun zenith angles, moderately low sea state and on the same deployment platform and frame (except in-water systems). The weighted average of five above-water measurements was used as baseline reference for comparisons. For downwelling irradiance ( E d ), there was generally good agreement between sensors with differences of <6% for most of the sensors over the spectral range 400 nm–665 nm. One sensor exhibited a systematic bias, of up to 11%, due to poor cosine response. For sky radiance ( L s k y ) the spectrally averaged difference between optical systems was <2.5% with a root mean square error (RMS) <0.01 mWm−2 nm−1 sr−1. For total above-water upwelling radiance ( L t ), the difference was <3.5% with an RMS <0.009 mWm−2 nm−1 sr−1. For remote-sensing reflectance ( R r s ), the differences between above-water TriOS RAMSES were <3.5% and <2.5% at 443 and 560 nm, respectively, and were <7.5% for some systems at 665 nm. Seabird-Hyperspectral Surface Acquisition System (HyperSAS) sensors were on average within 3.5% at 443 nm, 1% at 560 nm, and 3% at 665 nm. The differences between the weighted mean of the above-water and in-water systems was <15.8% across visible bands. A sensitivity analysis showed that E d accounted for the largest fraction of the variance in R r s , which suggests that minimizing the errors arising from this measurement is the most important variable in reducing the inter-group differences in R r s . The differences may also be due, in part, to using five of the above-water systems as a reference. To avoid this, in situ normalized water-leaving radiance ( L w n ) was therefore compared to AERONET-OC SeaPRiSM L w n as an alternative reference measurement. For the TriOS-RAMSES and Seabird-HyperSAS sensors the differences were similar across the visible spectra with 4.7% and 4.9%, respectively. The difference between SeaPRiSM L w n and two in-water systems at blue, green and red bands was 11.8%. This was partly due to temporal and spatial differences in sampling between the in-water and above-water systems and possibly due to uncertainties in instrument self-shading for one of the in-water measurements. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fiducial Reference Measurements for Satellite Ocean Colour)
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Open AccessArticle
A Virtual Geostationary Ocean Color Sensor to Analyze the Coastal Optical Variability
Remote Sens. 2020, 12(10), 1539; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs12101539 - 12 May 2020
Abstract
In the coastal environment the optical properties can vary on temporal scales that are shorter than the near-polar orbiting satellite temporal resolution (~1 image per day), which does not allow capturing most of the coastal optical variability. The objective of this work is [...] Read more.
In the coastal environment the optical properties can vary on temporal scales that are shorter than the near-polar orbiting satellite temporal resolution (~1 image per day), which does not allow capturing most of the coastal optical variability. The objective of this work is to fill the gap between the near-polar orbiting and geostationary sensor temporal resolutions, as the latter sensors provide multiple images of the same basin during the same day. To do that, a Level 3 hyper-temporal analysis-ready Ocean Color (OC) dataset, named Virtual Geostationary Ocean Color Sensor (VGOCS), has been created. This dataset contains the observations acquired over the North Adriatic Sea by the currently functioning near-polar orbiting sensors, allowing approaching the geostationary sensor temporal resolution. The problem in using data from different sensors is that they are characterized by different uncertainty sources that can introduce artifacts between different satellite images. Hence, the sensors have different spatial and spectral resolutions, their calibration procedures can have different accuracies, and their Level 2 data can be retrieved using different processing chains. Such differences were reduced here by adjusting the satellite data with a multi-linear regression algorithm that exploits the Fiducial Reference Measurements data stream of the AERONET-OC water-leaving radiance acquired at the Acqua Alta Oceanographic Tower, located in the Gulf of Venice. This work aims to prove the suitability of VGOCS in analyzing the coastal optical variability, presenting the improvement brought by the adjustment on the quality of the satellite data, the VGOCS spatial and temporal coverage, and the inter-sensor differences. Hence, the adjustment will strongly increase the agreement between the satellite and in situ data and between data from different near-polar orbiting OC imagers; moreover, the adjustment will make available data traditionally masked in the standard processing chains, increasing the VGOCS spatial and temporal coverage, fundamental to analyze the coastal optical variability. Finally, the fulfillment by VGOCS of the three conditions for a hyper-temporal dataset will be demonstrated in this work. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fiducial Reference Measurements for Satellite Ocean Colour)
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Open AccessArticle
ROSACE: A Proposed European Design for the Copernicus Ocean Colour System Vicarious Calibration Infrastructure
Remote Sens. 2020, 12(10), 1535; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs12101535 - 12 May 2020
Abstract
The European Copernicus programme ensures long-term delivery of high-quality, global satellite ocean colour radiometry (OCR) observations from its Sentinel-3 (S3) satellite series carrying the ocean and land colour instrument (OLCI). In particular, the S3/OLCI provides marine water leaving reflectance and derived products to [...] Read more.
The European Copernicus programme ensures long-term delivery of high-quality, global satellite ocean colour radiometry (OCR) observations from its Sentinel-3 (S3) satellite series carrying the ocean and land colour instrument (OLCI). In particular, the S3/OLCI provides marine water leaving reflectance and derived products to the Copernicus marine environment monitoring service, CMEMS, for which data quality is of paramount importance. This is why OCR system vicarious calibration (OC-SVC), which allows uncertainties of these products to stay within required specifications, is crucial. The European organisation for the exploitation of meteorological satellites (EUMETSAT) operates the S3/OLCI marine ground segment, and envisions having an SVC infrastructure deployed and operated for the long-term. This paper describes a design for such an SVC infrastructure, named radiometry for ocean colour satellites calibration and community engagement (ROSACE), which has been submitted to Copernicus by a consortium made of three European research institutions, a National Metrology Institute, and two small- to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). ROSACE proposes a 2-site infrastructure deployed in the Eastern and Western Mediterranean Seas, capable of delivering up to about 80 high quality matchups per year for OC-SVC of the S3/OLCI missions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fiducial Reference Measurements for Satellite Ocean Colour)
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Open AccessArticle
European Radiometry Buoy and Infrastructure (EURYBIA): A Contribution to the Design of the European Copernicus Infrastructure for Ocean Colour System Vicarious Calibration
Remote Sens. 2020, 12(7), 1178; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs12071178 - 07 Apr 2020
Cited by 1
Abstract
In the context of the Copernicus Program, EUMETSAT prioritizes the creation of an ocean color infrastructure for system vicarious calibration (OC-SVC). This work aims to reply to this need by proposing the European Radiometry Buoy and Infrastructure (EURYBIA). EURYBIA is designed as an [...] Read more.
In the context of the Copernicus Program, EUMETSAT prioritizes the creation of an ocean color infrastructure for system vicarious calibration (OC-SVC). This work aims to reply to this need by proposing the European Radiometry Buoy and Infrastructure (EURYBIA). EURYBIA is designed as an autonomous European infrastructure operating within the Marine Optical Network (MarONet) established by University of Miami (Miami, FL, USA) based on the Marine Optical Buoy (MOBY) experience and NASA support. MarONet addresses SVC requirements in different sites, consistently and in a traceable way. The selected EURYBIA installation is close to the Lampedusa Island in the central Mediterranean Sea. This area is widely studied and hosts an Atmospheric and Oceanographic Observatory for long-term climate monitoring. The EURYBIA field segment comprises off-shore and on-shore infrastructures to manage the observation system and perform routine sensors calibrations. The ground segment includes the telemetry center for data communication and the processing center to compute data products and uncertainty budgets. The study shows that the overall uncertainty of EURYBIA SVC gains computed for the Sentinel-3 OLCI mission under EUMETSAT protocols is of about 0.05% in the blue-green wavelengths after a decade of measurements, similar to that of the reference site in Hawaii and in compliance with requirements for climate studies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fiducial Reference Measurements for Satellite Ocean Colour)
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Open AccessArticle
Example of Monte Carlo Method Uncertainty Evaluation for Above-Water Ocean Colour Radiometry
Remote Sens. 2020, 12(5), 780; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs12050780 - 29 Feb 2020
Cited by 2
Abstract
We describe a method to evaluate an uncertainly budget for the in situ Ocean Colour Radiometric measurements. A Monte Carlo approach is chosen to propagate the measurement uncertainty inputs through the measurements model. The measurement model is designed to address instrument characteristics and [...] Read more.
We describe a method to evaluate an uncertainly budget for the in situ Ocean Colour Radiometric measurements. A Monte Carlo approach is chosen to propagate the measurement uncertainty inputs through the measurements model. The measurement model is designed to address instrument characteristics and uncertainty associated with them. We present the results for a particular example when the radiometers were fully characterised and then use the same data to show a case when such characterisation is missing. This, depending on the measurement and the wavelength, can increase the uncertainty value significantly; for example, the downwelling irradiance at 442.5 nm with fully characterised instruments can reach uncertainty values of 1%, but for the instruments without such characterisation, that value could increase to almost 7%. The uncertainty values presented in this paper are not final, as some of the environmental contributors were not fully evaluated. The main conclusion of this work are the significance of thoughtful instrument characterisation and correction for the most significant uncertainty contributions in order to achieve a lower measurements uncertainty value. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fiducial Reference Measurements for Satellite Ocean Colour)
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Open AccessArticle
Consistency of Radiometric Satellite Data over Lakes and Coastal Waters with Local Field Measurements
Remote Sens. 2020, 12(4), 616; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs12040616 - 12 Feb 2020
Cited by 2
Abstract
The Sentinel-3 mission launched its first satellite Sentinel-3A in 2016 to be followed by Sentinel-3B and Sentinel-3C to provide long-term operational measurements over Earth. Sentinel-3A and 3B are in full operational status, allowing global coverage in less than two days, usable to monitor [...] Read more.
The Sentinel-3 mission launched its first satellite Sentinel-3A in 2016 to be followed by Sentinel-3B and Sentinel-3C to provide long-term operational measurements over Earth. Sentinel-3A and 3B are in full operational status, allowing global coverage in less than two days, usable to monitor optical water quality and provide data for environmental studies. However, due to limited ground truth data, the product quality has not yet been analyzed in detail with the fiducial reference measurement (FRM) dataset. Here, we use the fully characterized ground truth FRM dataset for validating Sentinel-3A Ocean and Land Colour Instrument (OLCI) radiometric products over optically complex Estonian inland waters and Baltic Sea coastal areas. As consistency between satellite and local data depends on uncertainty in field measurements, filtering of the in situ data has been made based on the uncertainty for the final comparison. We have compared various atmospheric correction methods and found POLYMER (POLYnomial-based algorithm applied to MERIS) to be most suitable for optically complex waters under study in terms of product accuracy, amount of usable data and also being least influenced by the adjacency effect. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fiducial Reference Measurements for Satellite Ocean Colour)
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Open AccessArticle
MODIS Aqua Reflective Solar Band Calibration for NASA’s R2018 Ocean Color Products
Remote Sens. 2019, 11(19), 2187; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs11192187 - 20 Sep 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
Remote-sensing ocean color products have stringent requirements on radiometric calibration stability. To address a calibration deficiency in Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) Aqua in recent years, the NASA Ocean Biology Processing Group (OBPG) developed a new calibration for reflective solar bands. Prior to [...] Read more.
Remote-sensing ocean color products have stringent requirements on radiometric calibration stability. To address a calibration deficiency in Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) Aqua in recent years, the NASA Ocean Biology Processing Group (OBPG) developed a new calibration for reflective solar bands. Prior to the reprocessing of NASA’s ocean color products for 2018 (R2018), the OBPG MODIS products had been based on calibration provided by the MODIS Calibration Support Team (MCST). Several modifications were made to the MCST calibration approach to improve the calibration accuracy for ocean color products. These include (1) applying 936-nm detector normalization to solar diffuser stability monitor (SDSM) data to reduce coherent noise; (2) modeling solar diffuser (SD) degradation wavelength dependency to determine SD degradation in near-infrared and shortwave infrared wavelengths; (3) computing detector gains using SD screen-closed data to better match ocean radiance levels in all bands; (4) performing a simple atmospheric correction to reduce bidirectional reflectance distribution function (BRDF) effects in desert trends; (5) estimating and using modulated relative spectral response (RSR) impact on ocean data to adjust the calibration coefficients; (6) using smoothing to characterize the temporal change in calibration; and characterizing response versus scan angle (RVS) changes using 2nd-order polynomials to improve spatial/temporal calibration stability. Relative to the previous R2014 ocean color products, the R2018 calibration removed the suspect late-mission global trends in blue-band water-leaving reflectance and some anomalously large short-term variability (spikes) in the temporal trend of chlorophyll concentration. This paper will describe the OBPG calibration with a focus on the differences between the MCST and OBPG approaches. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fiducial Reference Measurements for Satellite Ocean Colour)
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Open AccessArticle
The Pan-and-Tilt Hyperspectral Radiometer System (PANTHYR) for Autonomous Satellite Validation Measurements—Prototype Design and Testing
Remote Sens. 2019, 11(11), 1360; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs11111360 - 06 Jun 2019
Cited by 4
Abstract
This paper describes a system, named “pan-and-tilt hyperspectral radiometer system” (PANTHYR) that is designed for autonomous measurement of hyperspectral water reflectance. The system is suitable for deployment in diverse locations (including offshore platforms) for the validation of water reflectance derived from any satellite [...] Read more.
This paper describes a system, named “pan-and-tilt hyperspectral radiometer system” (PANTHYR) that is designed for autonomous measurement of hyperspectral water reflectance. The system is suitable for deployment in diverse locations (including offshore platforms) for the validation of water reflectance derived from any satellite mission with visible and/or near-infrared spectral bands (400–900 nm). Key user requirements include reliable autonomous operation at remote sites without grid power or cabled internet and only limited maintenance (1–2 times per year), flexible zenith and azimuth pointing, modularity to adapt to future evolution of components and different sites (power, data transmission, and mounting possibilities), and moderate hardware acquisition cost. PANTHYR consists of two commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) hyperspectral radiometers, mounted on a COTS pan-and-tilt pointing system, controlled by a single-board-computer and associated custom-designed electronics which provide power, pointing instructions, and data archiving and transmission. The variable zenith pointing improves protection of sensors which are parked downward when not measuring, and it allows for use of a single radiance sensor for both sky and water viewing. The latter gives cost reduction for radiometer purchase, as well as reduction of uncertainties associated with radiometer spectral and radiometric differences for comparable two-radiance-sensor systems. The system is designed so that hardware and software upgrades or changes are easy to implement. In this paper, the system design requirements and choices are described, including details of the electronics, hardware, and software. A prototype test on the Acqua Alta Oceanographic Tower (near Venice, Italy) is described, including comparison of the PANTHYR system data with two other established systems: the multispectral autonomous AERONET-OC data and a manually deployed three-sensor hyperspectral system. The test established that high-quality hyperspectral data for water reflectance can be acquired autonomously with this system. Lessons learned from the prototype testing are described, and the future perspectives for the hardware and software development are outlined. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fiducial Reference Measurements for Satellite Ocean Colour)
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Open AccessArticle
Field Intercomparison of Radiometers Used for Satellite Validation in the 400–900 nm Range
Remote Sens. 2019, 11(9), 1129; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs11091129 - 11 May 2019
Cited by 7
Abstract
An intercomparison of radiance and irradiance ocean color radiometers (the second laboratory comparison exercise—LCE-2) was organized within the frame of the European Space Agency funded project Fiducial Reference Measurements for Satellite Ocean Color (FRM4SOC) May 8–13, 2017 at Tartu Observatory, Estonia. LCE-2 consisted [...] Read more.
An intercomparison of radiance and irradiance ocean color radiometers (the second laboratory comparison exercise—LCE-2) was organized within the frame of the European Space Agency funded project Fiducial Reference Measurements for Satellite Ocean Color (FRM4SOC) May 8–13, 2017 at Tartu Observatory, Estonia. LCE-2 consisted of three sub-tasks: (1) SI-traceable radiometric calibration of all the participating radiance and irradiance radiometers at the Tartu Observatory just before the comparisons; (2) indoor, laboratory intercomparison using stable radiance and irradiance sources in a controlled environment; (3) outdoor, field intercomparison of natural radiation sources over a natural water surface. The aim of the experiment was to provide a link in the chain of traceability from field measurements of water reflectance to the uniform SI-traceable calibration, and after calibration to verify whether different instruments measuring the same object provide results consistent within the expected uncertainty limits. This paper describes the third phase of LCE-2: The results of the field experiment. The calibration of radiometers and laboratory comparison experiment are presented in a related paper of the same journal issue. Compared to the laboratory comparison, the field intercomparison has demonstrated substantially larger variability between freshly calibrated sensors, because the targets and environmental conditions during radiometric calibration were different, both spectrally and spatially. Major differences were found for radiance sensors measuring a sunlit water target at viewing zenith angle of 139° because of the different fields of view. Major differences were found for irradiance sensors because of imperfect cosine response of diffusers. Variability between individual radiometers did depend significantly also on the type of the sensor and on the specific measurement target. Uniform SI traceable radiometric calibration ensuring fairly good consistency for indoor, laboratory measurements is insufficient for outdoor, field measurements, mainly due to the different angular variability of illumination. More stringent specifications and individual testing of radiometers for all relevant systematic effects (temperature, nonlinearity, spectral stray light, etc.) are needed to reduce biases between instruments and better quantify measurement uncertainties. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fiducial Reference Measurements for Satellite Ocean Colour)
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Open AccessArticle
Laboratory Intercomparison of Radiometers Used for Satellite Validation in the 400–900 nm Range
Remote Sens. 2019, 11(9), 1101; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs11091101 - 08 May 2019
Cited by 9
Abstract
An intercomparison of radiance and irradiance ocean color radiometers (The Second Laboratory Comparison Exercise—LCE-2) was organized within the frame of the European Space Agency funded project Fiducial Reference Measurements for Satellite Ocean Color (FRM4SOC) May 8–13, 2017 at Tartu Observatory, Estonia. LCE-2 consisted [...] Read more.
An intercomparison of radiance and irradiance ocean color radiometers (The Second Laboratory Comparison Exercise—LCE-2) was organized within the frame of the European Space Agency funded project Fiducial Reference Measurements for Satellite Ocean Color (FRM4SOC) May 8–13, 2017 at Tartu Observatory, Estonia. LCE-2 consisted of three sub-tasks: 1) SI-traceable radiometric calibration of all the participating radiance and irradiance radiometers at the Tartu Observatory just before the comparisons; 2) Indoor intercomparison using stable radiance and irradiance sources in controlled environment; and 3) Outdoor intercomparison of natural radiation sources over terrestrial water surface. The aim of the experiment was to provide one link in the chain of traceability from field measurements of water reflectance to the uniform SI-traceable calibration, and after calibration to verify whether different instruments measuring the same object provide results consistent within the expected uncertainty limits. This paper describes the activities and results of the first two phases of LCE-2: the SI-traceable radiometric calibration and indoor intercomparison, the results of outdoor experiment are presented in a related paper of the same journal issue. The indoor experiment of the LCE-2 has proven that uniform calibration just before the use of radiometers is highly effective. Distinct radiometers from different manufacturers operated by different scientists can yield quite close radiance and irradiance results (standard deviation s < 1%) under defined conditions. This holds when measuring stable lamp-based targets under stationary laboratory conditions with all the radiometers uniformly calibrated against the same standards just prior to the experiment. In addition, some unification of measurement and data processing must be settled. Uncertainty of radiance and irradiance measurement under these conditions largely consists of the sensor’s calibration uncertainty and of the spread of results obtained by individual sensors measuring the same object. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fiducial Reference Measurements for Satellite Ocean Colour)
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Review

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Open AccessReview
A Review of Protocols for Fiducial Reference Measurements of Water-Leaving Radiance for Validation of Satellite Remote-Sensing Data over Water
Remote Sens. 2019, 11(19), 2198; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs11192198 - 20 Sep 2019
Cited by 8
Abstract
This paper reviews the state of the art of protocols for measurement of water-leaving radiance in the context of fiducial reference measurements (FRM) of water reflectance for satellite validation. Measurement of water reflectance requires the measurement of water-leaving radiance and downwelling irradiance just [...] Read more.
This paper reviews the state of the art of protocols for measurement of water-leaving radiance in the context of fiducial reference measurements (FRM) of water reflectance for satellite validation. Measurement of water reflectance requires the measurement of water-leaving radiance and downwelling irradiance just above water. For the former there are four generic families of method, based on: (1) underwater radiometry at fixed depths; or (2) underwater radiometry with vertical profiling; or (3) above-water radiometry with skyglint correction; or (4) on-water radiometry with skylight blocked. Each method is described generically in the FRM context with reference to the measurement equation, documented implementations and the intra-method diversity of deployment platform and practice. Ideal measurement conditions are stated, practical recommendations are provided on best practice and guidelines for estimating the measurement uncertainty are provided for each protocol-related component of the measurement uncertainty budget. The state of the art for measurement of water-leaving radiance is summarized, future perspectives are outlined, and the question of which method is best adapted to various circumstances (water type, wavelength) is discussed. This review is based on practice and papers of the aquatic optics community for the validation of water reflectance estimated from satellite data but can be relevant also for other applications such as the development or validation of algorithms for remote-sensing estimation of water constituents including chlorophyll a concentration, inherent optical properties and related products. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fiducial Reference Measurements for Satellite Ocean Colour)
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Open AccessReview
A Review of Protocols for Fiducial Reference Measurements of Downwelling Irradiance for the Validation of Satellite Remote Sensing Data over Water
Remote Sens. 2019, 11(15), 1742; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs11151742 - 24 Jul 2019
Cited by 5
Abstract
This paper reviews the state of the art of protocols for the measurement of downwelling irradiance in the context of Fiducial Reference Measurements (FRM) of water reflectance for satellite validation. The measurement of water reflectance requires the measurement of water-leaving radiance and downwelling [...] Read more.
This paper reviews the state of the art of protocols for the measurement of downwelling irradiance in the context of Fiducial Reference Measurements (FRM) of water reflectance for satellite validation. The measurement of water reflectance requires the measurement of water-leaving radiance and downwelling irradiance just above water. For the latter, there are four generic families of method, using: (1) an above-water upward-pointing irradiance sensor; (2) an above-water downward-pointing radiance sensor and a reflective plaque; (3) a Sun-pointing radiance sensor (sunphotometer); or (4) an underwater upward-pointing irradiance sensor deployed at different depths. Each method—except for the fourth, which is considered obsolete for the measurement of above-water downwelling irradiance—is described generically in the FRM context with reference to the measurement equation, documented implementations, and the intra-method diversity of deployment platform and practice. Ideal measurement conditions are stated, practical recommendations are provided on best practice, and guidelines for estimating the measurement uncertainty are provided for each protocol-related component of the measurement uncertainty budget. The state of the art for the measurement of downwelling irradiance is summarized, future perspectives are outlined, and key debates such as the use of reflectance plaques with calibrated or uncalibrated radiometers are presented. This review is based on the practice and studies of the aquatic optics community and the validation of water reflectance, but is also relevant to land radiation monitoring and the validation of satellite-derived land surface reflectance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fiducial Reference Measurements for Satellite Ocean Colour)
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Open AccessProject Report
Fiducial Reference Measurements for Satellite Ocean Colour (FRM4SOC)
Remote Sens. 2020, 12(8), 1322; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs12081322 - 22 Apr 2020
Cited by 2
Abstract
Earth observation data can help us understand and address some of the grand challenges and threats facing us today as a species and as a planet, for example climate change and its impacts and sustainable use of the Earth’s resources. However, in order [...] Read more.
Earth observation data can help us understand and address some of the grand challenges and threats facing us today as a species and as a planet, for example climate change and its impacts and sustainable use of the Earth’s resources. However, in order to have confidence in earth observation data, measurements made at the surface of the Earth, with the intention of providing verification or validation of satellite-mounted sensor measurements, should be trustworthy and at least of the same high quality as those taken with the satellite sensors themselves. Metrology tells us that in order to be trustworthy, measurements should include an unbroken chain of SI-traceable calibrations and comparisons and full uncertainty budgets for each of the in situ sensors. Until now, this has not been the case for most satellite validation measurements. Therefore, within this context, the European Space Agency (ESA) funded a series of Fiducial Reference Measurements (FRM) projects targeting the validation of satellite data products of the atmosphere, land, and ocean, and setting the framework, standards, and protocols for future satellite validation efforts. The FRM4SOC project was structured to provide this support for evaluating and improving the state of the art in ocean colour radiometry (OCR) and satellite ocean colour validation through a series of comparisons under the auspices of the Committee on Earth Observation Satellites (CEOS). This followed the recommendations from the International Ocean Colour Coordinating Group’s white paper and supports the CEOS ocean colour virtual constellation. The main objective was to establish and maintain SI traceable ground-based FRM for satellite ocean colour and thus make a fundamental contribution to the European system for monitoring the Earth (Copernicus). This paper outlines the FRM4SOC project structure, objectives and methodology and highlights the main results and achievements of the project: (1) An international SI-traceable comparison of irradiance and radiance sources used for OCR calibration that set measurement, calibration and uncertainty estimation protocols and indicated good agreement between the participating calibration laboratories from around the world; (2) An international SI-traceable laboratory and outdoor comparison of radiometers used for satellite ocean colour validation that set OCR calibration and comparison protocols; (3) A major review and update to the protocols for taking irradiance and radiance field measurements for satellite ocean colour validation, with particular focus on aspects of data acquisition and processing that must be considered in the estimation of measurement uncertainty and guidelines for good practice; (4) A technical comparison of the main radiometers used globally for satellite ocean colour validation bringing radiometer manufacturers together around the same table for the first time to discuss instrument characterisation and its documentation, as needed for measurement uncertainty estimation; (5) Two major international side-by-side field intercomparisons of multiple ocean colour radiometers, one on the Atlantic Meridional Transect (AMT) oceanographic cruise, and the other on the Acqua Alta oceanographic tower in the Gulf of Venice; (6) Impact and promotion of FRM within the ocean colour community, including a scientific road map for the FRM-based future of satellite ocean colour validation and vicarious calibration (based on the findings of the FRM4SOC project, the consensus from two major international FRM4SOC workshops and previous literature, including the IOCCG white paper on in situ ocean colour radiometry). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fiducial Reference Measurements for Satellite Ocean Colour)
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Open AccessLetter
Filling the Gaps of Missing Data in the Merged VIIRS SNPP/NOAA-20 Ocean Color Product Using the DINEOF Method
Remote Sens. 2019, 11(2), 178; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs11020178 - 18 Jan 2019
Cited by 5
Abstract
The Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) on the Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership (SNPP) and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)-20 has been providing a large amount of global ocean color data, which are critical for monitoring and understanding of ocean optical, biological, [...] Read more.
The Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) on the Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership (SNPP) and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)-20 has been providing a large amount of global ocean color data, which are critical for monitoring and understanding of ocean optical, biological, and ecological processes and phenomena. However, VIIRS-derived daily ocean color images on either SNPP or NOAA-20 have some limitations in ocean coverage due to its swath width, high sensor-zenith angle, high sun glint, and cloud, etc. Merging VIIRS ocean color products derived from the SNPP and NOAA-20 significantly increases the spatial coverage of daily images. The two VIIRS sensors on the SNPP and NOAA-20 have similar sensor characteristics, and global ocean color products are generated using the same Multi-Sensor Level-1 to Level-2 (MSL12) ocean color data processing system. Therefore, the merged VIIRS ocean color data from the two sensors have high data quality with consistent statistical property and accuracy globally. Merging VIIRS SNPP and NOAA-20 ocean color data almost removes the gaps of missing pixels due to high sensor-zenith angles and high sun glint contamination, and also significantly reduces the gaps due to cloud cover. However, there are still gaps of missing pixels in the merged ocean color data. In this study, the Data Interpolating Empirical Orthogonal Functions (DINEOF) are applied on the merged VIIRS SNPP/NOAA-20 global Level-3 ocean color data to completely reconstruct the missing pixels. Specifically, DINEOF is applied to 30 days of daily merged global Level-3 chlorophyll-a (Chl-a) data of 9-km spatial resolution from 19 June to 18 July 2018. To quantitatively evaluate the accuracy of the DINEOF reconstructed data, a set of valid pixels are intentionally treated as “missing pixels”, so that reconstructed data can be compared with the original data. Results show that mean ratios of the reconstructed/original are 1.012, 1.012, 1.015, and 0.997 for global ocean, oligotrophic waters, deep waters, and coastal and inland waters, respectively. The corresponding standard deviation (SD) of the ratios are 0.200, 0.164, 0.182, and 0.287, respectively. Gap-filled daily Chl-a images reveal many large-scale and meso-scale ocean features that are invisible in the original SNPP or NOAA-20 Chl-a images. It is also demonstrated that the gap-filled data based on the merged products show more details in the dynamic ocean features than those based on SNPP or NOAA-20 alone. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fiducial Reference Measurements for Satellite Ocean Colour)
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