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ASTER preflight and inflight calibration and the validation of Level 2 products

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15 Author(s)
Thome, K. ; Opt. Sci. Center, Arizona Univ., Tucson, AZ, USA ; Arai, K. ; Hook, S. ; Kieffer, H.
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Describes the preflight and inflight calibration approaches used for the Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER). The system is a multispectral, high-spatial resolution sensor on the Earth Observing System's EOS-AM1 platform. Preflight calibration of ASTER uses well-characterized sources to provide calibration and preflight round-robin exercises to understand biases between the calibration sources of ASTER and other EOS sensors. These round-robins rely on well-characterized, ultra-stable radiometers. An experiment field in Yokohama, Japan, showed that the output from the source used for the visible and near-infrared (VNIR) subsystem of ASTER may be underestimated by 1.5%, but this is still within the 4% specification for the absolute, radiometric calibration of these bands. Inflight calibration will rely on vicarious techniques and onboard blackbodies and lamps. Vicarious techniques include ground-reference methods using desert and water sites. A recent joint field campaign gives confidence that these methods currently provide absolute calibration to better than 5%, and indications are that uncertainties less than the required 4% should be achievable at launch. The EOS-AM1 platform will also provide a spacecraft maneuver that will allow ASTER to see the Moon, allowing further characterization of the sensor. A method for combining the results of these independent calibration results is presented. The paper also describes the plans for validating the Level 2 data products from ASTER. These plans rely heavily upon field campaigns using methods similar to those used for the ground-reference, vicarious calibration methods

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Geoscience and Remote Sensing, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:36 ,  Issue: 4 )