Ground-monitor radiometer system for vicarious calibration

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

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)
Title of host publicationProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
EditorsS.S. Shen, P.E. Lewis
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 2004
EventImaging Spectrometry X - Denver, CO, United States
Duration: Aug 2 2004Aug 4 2004


OtherImaging Spectrometry X
CountryUnited States
CityDenver, CO



  • Absolute-radiometric calibration
  • Surface reflectance
  • Vicarious calibration

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Condensed Matter Physics

Cite this

Thome, K., Czapla-Myers, J. S., & Biggar, S. F. (2004). Ground-monitor radiometer system for vicarious calibration. In S. S. Shen, & P. E. Lewis (Eds.), Proceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering (Vol. 5546, pp. 223-232). [28]