Skip to Main Content
The reflectance-based method of vicarious calibration has been used for the absolute radiometric calibration of the Landsat series of sensors since the launch of Landsat-4. The reflectance-based method relies on ground-based measurements of the surface reflectance and atmospheric conditions at a selected test site nearly coincident with the imaging of that site by the sensor of interest. The results of this approach are presented here for Landsat-5 Thematic Mapper (TM) and Landsat-7 Enhanced Thematic Mapper Plus (ETM+). The data have been collected by two groups, one from the University of Arizona and the other from South Dakota State University. The test sites used by the University of Arizona group for this work are the Railroad Valley Playa, Lunar Lake Playa, and Roach Lake Playa all of which are in Nevada, Ivanpah Playa in California, and White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico. The test site for the South Dakota State group is a grass site in Brookings, SD. The gains derived from dates using these sites spanning the period from 1984 to 2003 are presented for TM and for the period of 1999 to 2003 for ETM+. Differences between the two groups are less than the combined uncertainties of the methods, and the data are thus treated as a single dataset. The results of these vicarious data indicate that there has been no degradation apparent in TM since 1995 and in ETM+ since launch. Agreement between the reflectance-based results and the preflight calibration of ETM+ is better than 4% in all bands, and the standard deviation of the average difference indicates a precision of the reflectance-based method on the order of 3%.
Geoscience and Remote Sensing, IEEE Transactions on (Volume:42 , Issue: 12 )
Date of Publication: Dec. 2004