OSA's Digital Library

Applied Optics

Applied Optics


  • Vol. 42, Iss. 10 — Apr. 1, 2003
  • pp: 1839–1846

Systematic errors in the measurement of emissivity caused by directional effects

Abraham Kribus, Irna Vishnevetsky, Eyal Rotenberg, and Dan Yakir  »View Author Affiliations

Applied Optics, Vol. 42, Issue 10, pp. 1839-1846 (2003)

View Full Text Article

Enhanced HTML    Acrobat PDF (132 KB)

Browse Journals / Lookup Meetings

Browse by Journal and Year


Lookup Conference Papers

Close Browse Journals / Lookup Meetings

Article Tools



Accurate knowledge of surface emissivity is essential for applications in remote sensing (remote temperature measurement), radiative transport, and modeling of environmental energy balances. Direct measurements of surface emissivity are difficult when there is considerable background radiation at the same wavelength as the emitted radiation. This occurs, for example, when objects at temperatures near room temperature are measured in a terrestrial environment by use of the infrared 8–14-μm band. This problem is usually treated by assumption of a perfectly diffuse surface or of diffuse background radiation. However, real surfaces and actual background radiation are not diffuse; therefore there will be a systematic measurement error. It is demonstrated that, in some cases, the deviations from a diffuse behavior lead to large errors in the measured emissivity. Past measurements made with simplifying assumptions should therefore be reevaluated and corrected. Recommendations are presented for improving experimental procedures in emissivity measurement.

© 2003 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(120.0280) Instrumentation, measurement, and metrology : Remote sensing and sensors
(260.3060) Physical optics : Infrared
(300.2140) Spectroscopy : Emission

Original Manuscript: June 18, 2002
Revised Manuscript: December 4, 2002
Published: April 1, 2003

Abraham Kribus, Irna Vishnevetsky, Eyal Rotenberg, and Dan Yakir, "Systematic errors in the measurement of emissivity caused by directional effects," Appl. Opt. 42, 1839-1846 (2003)

Sort:  Author  |  Year  |  Journal  |  Reset  


  1. J. W. Salisbury, N. M. Milton, “Thermal infrared (2.5 to 13.5 μm) directional hemispherical reflectance of leaves,” Photogram. Eng. 54, 1301–1304 (1988).
  2. W. C. Snyder, Z. Wan, Y. Zhang, Y. Z. Feng, “Thermal infrared (3–14 μm) bidirectional reflectance measurements of sands and soils,” Remote Sens. Environ. 60, 101–109 (1997). [CrossRef]
  3. D. Sheffer, U. P. Oppenheim, A. D. Devir, “Absolute reflectometer for the mid infrared region,” Appl. Opt. 29, 129–132 (1990). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  4. D. Especel, S. Matteï, “Total emissivity measurements without use of an absolute reference,” Infrared Phys. Technol. 37, 777–784 (1997). [CrossRef]
  5. K. J. K. Buettner, C. D. Kern, “The determination of infrared emissivities of terrestrial surfaces,” J. Geophys. Res. 70, 1329–1337 (1965). [CrossRef]
  6. M. Fuchs, C. B. Tanner, “Infrared thermometry of vegetation,” Agron. J. 58, 597–601 (1966). [CrossRef]
  7. K. S. Humes, W. P. Kustas, M. S. Moran, W. D. Nichols, M. A. Weltz, “Variability of emissivity and surface temperature over a sparsely vegetated surface,” Water Res. Res. 30, 1299–1310 (1994). [CrossRef]
  8. R. Siegel, J. R. Howell, Thermal Radiation Heat Transfer (Taylor Francis, New York, 2002).
  9. J. A. Sobrino, J. Cuenca, “Angular variation of thermal infrared emissivity for some natural surfaces from experimental measurements,” Appl. Opt. 38, 3931–3936 (1999). [CrossRef]
  10. W. G. Rees, S. P. James, “Angular variation of the infrared emissivity of ice and water surfaces,” Int. J. Remote Sens. 13, 2873–2886 (1992). [CrossRef]
  11. X. Berger, “A simple model for computing the spectral radiance of clear skies,” Sol. Energy 40, 321–343 (1988). [CrossRef]
  12. W. C. Snyder, Z. Wan, X. Li, “Thermodynamic constraints on reflectance reciprocity and Kirchhoff’s law,” Appl. Opt. 37, 3464–3470 (1998). [CrossRef]
  13. A. K. Das, M. Iqbal, “A simplified technique to compute spectral atmospheric radiation,” Sol. Energy 39, 143–155 (1987). [CrossRef]
  14. C. G. Donlon, T. J. Nightingale, “Effect of atmospheric radiance errors in radiometric sea-surface skin temperature measurements,” Appl. Opt. 39, 2387–2392 (2000). [CrossRef]

Cited By

Alert me when this paper is cited

OSA is able to provide readers links to articles that cite this paper by participating in CrossRef's Cited-By Linking service. CrossRef includes content from more than 3000 publishers and societies. In addition to listing OSA journal articles that cite this paper, citing articles from other participating publishers will also be listed.


Fig. 1 Fig. 2 Fig. 3
Fig. 4 Fig. 5

« Previous Article  |  Next Article »

OSA is a member of CrossRef.

CrossCheck Deposited