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Using a Cold Earth Surface Target to Characterize Long-Term Stability of the MODIS Thermal Emissive Bands

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2 Author(s)
Brian N. Wenny ; Sci. Syst. & Applic., Inc., Lanham, MD ; Xiaoxiong Xiong

The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) has successfully provided Earth image products for instruments on the Terra and Aqua satellites since 2000 and 2002, respectively. Maintaining accurate radiometric calibration and calibration consistency between two sensors is an important issue for continued quality of long-term data records, especially as the instruments operate beyond their original projected mission lifetime. A strategy to use frequent MODIS measurements of the brightness temperature of the land surface in the area surrounding Dome Concordia, Antarctica (75.1, 123.4 ) to track the long-term stability of MODIS Band 31 is presented. Dome Concordia, located on the Antarctic plateau, is one of the most homogeneous land surfaces on Earth in terms of surface temperature and emissivity, with a seasonal temperature range of 190-250 K. The extremely dry, cold, and rarefied atmosphere of the site makes it ideal to track and detect any long-term changes in the MODIS thermal band response through trend analyses of near-nadir MODIS overpass data in conjunction with surface temperature measurements. Application of this approach shows an average relative bias between Terra and Aqua MODIS Band 31 (11 ) measurements of 0.08 K, which is well within the calibration uncertainty.

Published in:

IEEE Geoscience and Remote Sensing Letters  (Volume:5 ,  Issue: 2 )