Ground-monitor radiometer system for vicarious calibration

Research output: Contribution to journalConference article

12 Scopus citations


The Remote Sensing Group at the University of Arizona has been active in the vicarious calibration of numerous sensors through the use of ground-based test sites. Application of these approaches has been limited in the past by the fact that ground-based personnel must be present at the time of the sensor overpass. This work presents the design and implementation of a set of ground-based, ground-viewing radiometers that are deployed without the need for on-site personnel. The radiometers are based on LED detectors allowing them to be robust and inexpensive and combining the results of these measurements with known calibration of the sensors and a suitable surface BRDF model, allows the surface spectral reflectance of the test site to be determined for the sensor overpass. The at-sensor radiance can be predicted via a radiative transfer code using atmospheric data from a fully-automated solar radiometer. Early results from this approach are presented for the Landsat ETM+ and Terra and Aqua MODIS sensors. These results show that errors are currently larger for this method than those with ground-based personnel, but the increased number of calibration opportunities should improve the overall understanding of the sensor calibration.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number28
Pages (from-to)223-232
Number of pages10
JournalProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
StatePublished - Dec 1 2004
EventImaging Spectrometry X - Denver, CO, United States
Duration: Aug 2 2004Aug 4 2004


  • Absolute-radiometric calibration
  • Surface reflectance
  • Vicarious calibration

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

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