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Terra MODIS on-orbit spatial characterization and performance

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3 Author(s)
Xiaoxiong Xiong ; NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD, USA ; Nianzeng Che ; W. Barnes

The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) Proto-Flight Model, onboard the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's Earth Observing System Terra spacecraft, has been in operation for over four years. It has 36 spectral bands and a total of 490 detectors located on four focal plane assemblies (FPAs). MODIS makes observations at three spatial resolutions (nadir): 0.25 km (bands 1-2), 0.5 km (bands 3-7), and 1 km (bands 8-36). The instrument's spatial characterization was measured prelaunch using an integration and alignment collimator. Parameters measured included the detectors' instantaneous field-of-view (IFOV), band-to-band registration (BBR), and line spread function in both the along-scan and along-track directions. On-orbit, the spatial characterization is periodically measured using the onboard spectro-radiometric calibration assembly (SRCA). This paper describes the SRCA BBR algorithms, characterization methodologies, and on-orbit results. A Fourier approach used to calculate the along-track BBR is also described. This approach enhances the algorithm's robustness in comparison with the conventional centroid approach. On-orbit results show that the Terra MODIS focal planes shifted slightly during launch and initial on-orbit operation. Since then they have been very stable. The BBR is within 0.16 km (nadir IFOV) in the along-scan direction and 0.23 km (nadir IFOV) in the along-track direction among all bands. The small but noticeable periodic variation of the on-orbit BBR can be attributed to the annual cycling of instrument temperature due to Sun-Earth distance variation. The visible FPA position has the largest temperature dependence among all FPAs, 17 m/K along-scan and 0.6 m/K along-track.

Published in:

IEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing  (Volume:43 ,  Issue: 2 )