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Applied Optics

Applied Optics


  • Editor: James C. Wyant
  • Vol. 46, Iss. 23 — Aug. 10, 2007
  • pp: 5649–5666

On-orbit vicarious calibration of ocean color sensors using an ocean surface reflectance model

P. Jeremy Werdell, Sean W. Bailey, Bryan A. Franz, André Morel, and Charles R. McClain  »View Author Affiliations

Applied Optics, Vol. 46, Issue 23, pp. 5649-5666 (2007)

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Recent advances in global biogeochemical research demonstrate a critical need for long-term ocean color satellite data records of consistent high quality. To achieve that quality, spaceborne instruments require on-orbit vicarious calibration, where the integrated instrument and atmospheric correction system is adjusted using in situ normalized water-leaving radiances, such as those collected by the marine optical buoy (MOBY). Unfortunately, well-characterized time-series of in situ data are scarce for many historical satellite missions, in particular, the NASA coastal zone color scanner (CZCS) and the ocean color and temperature scanner (OCTS). Ocean surface reflectance models (ORMs) accurately reproduce spectra observed in clear marine waters, using only chlorophyll a ( C a ) as input, a measurement for which long-term in situ time series exist. Before recalibrating CZCS and OCTS using modeled radiances, however, we evaluate the approach with the Sea-viewing Wide-Field-of-view Sensor (SeaWiFS). Using annual C a climatologies as input into an ORM, we derive SeaWiFS vicarious gains that differ from the operational MOBY gains by less than ± 0.9 % spectrally. In the context of generating decadal C a climate data records, we quantify the downstream effects of using these modeled gains by generating satellite-to-in situ data product validation statistics for comparison with the operational SeaWiFS results. Finally, we apply these methods to the CZCS and OCTS ocean color time series.

© 2007 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(010.4450) Atmospheric and oceanic optics : Oceanic optics
(030.5620) Coherence and statistical optics : Radiative transfer
(120.0280) Instrumentation, measurement, and metrology : Remote sensing and sensors
(280.0280) Remote sensing and sensors : Remote sensing and sensors

ToC Category:
Remote Sensing

Original Manuscript: March 8, 2007
Revised Manuscript: May 18, 2007
Manuscript Accepted: May 22, 2007
Published: August 8, 2007

Virtual Issues
Vol. 2, Iss. 9 Virtual Journal for Biomedical Optics

P. Jeremy Werdell, Sean W. Bailey, Bryan A. Franz, André Morel, and Charles R. McClain, "On-orbit vicarious calibration of ocean color sensors using an ocean surface reflectance model," Appl. Opt. 46, 5649-5666 (2007)

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