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Validation of ASTER/TIR standard atmospheric correction using water surfaces

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2 Author(s)
Tonooka, H. ; Ibaraki Univ., Japan ; Palluconi, F.D.

The standard atmospheric correction algorithm for the five thermal infrared (TIR) bands of the Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) is based on radiative transfer calculation using the MODTRAN code. Atmospheric profiles input to MODTRAN are extracted from either the Global Data Assimilation System (GDAS) product or the Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) climatology model. The present study provides validation results of this algorithm. First, in situ lake surface temperatures measured in 13 vicarious calibration (VC) experiments were compared with surface temperatures retrieved from ASTER data. As the results, the mean bias was 0.8 and 1.8 K for GDAS and NRL, respectively. The NRL model performed worse than GDAS for four experiments at Salton Sea, CA, probably because the model was not suitable for this site, which has typically higher surface temperature and humidity than other VC sites. Next, the algorithm was validated based on the max-min difference (MMD) of water surface emissivity retrieved from each of 163 scenes acquired globally. As a result, the algorithm error increased quadratically with the precipitable water vapor (PWV) content of the atmosphere, and the expected MMD error was 0.049 and 0.067 for GDAS and NRL, respectively, with a PWV of 3 cm, where 0.05 on MMD is roughly corresponding to -0.8 or +2.3 K on the retrieved surface temperature error. The algorithm performance degraded markedly when the surface temperature exceeded about 25°C, particularly for NRL. Consequently, GDAS performs better than NRL as expected, while both will perform less well for humid conditions.

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Geoscience and Remote Sensing, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:43 ,  Issue: 12 )