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Evaluation of ISCCP Multisatellite Radiance Calibration for Geostationary Imager Visible Channels Using the Moon

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4 Author(s)
Stone, T.C. ; Astrogeology Sci. Center, U.S. Geol. Survey, Flagstaff, AZ, USA ; Rossow, W.B. ; Ferrier, J. ; Hinkelman, L.M.

Since 1983, the International Satellite Cloud Climatology Project (ISCCP) has collected Earth radiance data from the succession of geostationary and polar-orbiting meteorological satellites operated by weather agencies worldwide. Meeting the ISCCP goals of global coverage and decade-length time scales requires consistent and stable calibration of the participating satellites. For the geostationary imager visible channels, ISCCP calibration provides regular periodic updates from regressions of radiances measured from coincident and collocated observations taken by Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer instruments. As an independent check of the temporal stability and intersatellite consistency of ISCCP calibrations, we have applied lunar calibration techniques to geostationary imager visible channels using images of the Moon found in the ISCCP data archive. Lunar calibration enables using the reflected light from the Moon as a stable and consistent radiometric reference. Although the technique has general applicability, limitations of the archived image data have restricted the current study to Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite and Geostationary Meteorological Satellite series. The results of this lunar analysis confirm that ISCCP calibration exhibits negligible temporal trends in sensor response but have revealed apparent relative biases between the satellites at various levels. However, these biases amount to differences of only a few percent in measured absolute reflectances. Since the lunar analysis examines only the lower end of the radiance range, the results suggest that the ISCCP calibration regression approach does not precisely determine the intercept or the zero-radiance response level. We discuss the impact of these findings on the development of consistent calibration for multisatellite global data sets.

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Geoscience and Remote Sensing, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:51 ,  Issue: 3 )