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Absolute calibration of VEGETATION derived from an interband method based on the Sun glint over ocean

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5 Author(s)
O. Hagolle ; Centre Nat. d'Etudes Spatiales, Toulouse, France ; J. -M. Nicolas ; B. Fougnie ; F. Cabot
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Absolute radiometric calibration is one of the main elements that contribute to the quality of measurements obtained with optical remote sensing instruments, but maintaining a good calibration accuracy during the whole life of an instrument is a difficult task. Since the sensitivity of an instrument generally changes after launch and degrades with time, many sensors have been equipped with onboard calibration devices. But these devices being not perfectly reliable, independent calibration methods based on natural targets are necessary to validate the results. The Sun glint calibration method is an interband calibration method that uses the specular reflection of the Sun on the ocean surface to transfer the absolute calibration of one reference spectral band to other spectral bands, from visible to short wave infrared wavelengths. Despite the drawback of relying on the absolute calibration of a reference spectral band, this method is one of the rare methods that can provide accurate calibration results for near-infrared spectral bands up to 1650 nm, without requiring costly in situ measurements simultaneously to the satellite overpass. This paper details the Sun glint calibration method and its error budget, and gives the results obtained with the VEGETATION instrument that was recently launched onboard the Systeme Pour l'Observation de la Terre 5 (SPOT-5) satellite. These results compare very well with the results of other calibration methods.

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IEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing  (Volume:42 ,  Issue: 7 )