OSA's Digital Library

Applied Optics

Applied Optics


  • Editor: Joseph N. Mait
  • Vol. 50, Iss. 2 — Jan. 10, 2011
  • pp: 120–133

Cross calibration of SeaWiFS and MODIS using on-orbit observations of the Moon

Robert E. Eplee, Jr., Jun-Qiang Sun, Gerhard Meister, Frederick S. Patt, Xiaoxiong Xiong, and Charles R. McClain  »View Author Affiliations

Applied Optics, Vol. 50, Issue 2, pp. 120-133 (2011)

View Full Text Article

Enhanced HTML    Acrobat PDF (1571 KB) Open Access

Browse Journals / Lookup Meetings

Browse by Journal and Year


Lookup Conference Papers

Close Browse Journals / Lookup Meetings

Article Tools



Observations of the Moon provide a primary technique for the on-orbit cross calibration of Earth remote sensing instruments. Monthly lunar observations are major components of the on-orbit calibration strategies of SeaWiFS and MODIS. SeaWiFS has collected more than 132 low phase angle and 59 high phase angle lunar observations over 12 years, Terra MODIS has collected more than 82 scheduled and 297 unscheduled lunar observations over nine years, and Aqua MODIS has collected more than 61 scheduled and 171 unscheduled lunar observations over seven years. The NASA Ocean Biology Processing Group Calibration and Validation Team and the NASA MODIS Characterization Support Team use the USGS RObotic Lunar Observatory (ROLO) photometric model of the Moon to compare these time series of lunar observations over time and varying observing geometries. The cross-calibration results show that Terra MODIS and Aqua MODIS agree, band to band, at the 1%–3% level, while SeaWiFS and either MODIS instrument agree at the 3%–8% level. The combined uncertainties of these comparisons are 1.3% for Terra and Aqua MODIS, 1.4% for SeaWiFS and Terra MODIS, and 1.3% for SeaWiFS and Aqua MODIS. Any residual phase dependence in the ROLO model, based on these observations, is less than 1.7% over the phase angle range of 80 ° to 6 ° and + 5 ° to + 82 ° . The lunar cross calibration of SeaWiFS, Terra MODIS, and Aqua MODIS is consistent with the vicarious calibration of ocean color products for these instruments, with the vicarious gains mitigating the calibration biases for the ocean color bands.

© 2011 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(120.0280) Instrumentation, measurement, and metrology : Remote sensing and sensors
(120.5630) Instrumentation, measurement, and metrology : Radiometry
(280.0280) Remote sensing and sensors : Remote sensing and sensors
(280.4991) Remote sensing and sensors : Passive remote sensing
(010.1690) Atmospheric and oceanic optics : Color

ToC Category:
Remote Sensing and Sensors

Original Manuscript: June 14, 2010
Revised Manuscript: October 5, 2010
Manuscript Accepted: November 7, 2010
Published: January 6, 2011

Robert E. Eplee, Jr., Jun-Qiang Sun, Gerhard Meister, Frederick S. Patt, Xiaoxiong Xiong, and Charles R. McClain, "Cross calibration of SeaWiFS and MODIS using on-orbit observations of the Moon," Appl. Opt. 50, 120-133 (2011)

Sort:  Author  |  Year  |  Journal  |  Reset  


  1. J. Sun, R. E. Eplee, Jr., X. Xiong, T. Stone, G. Meister, and C. R. McClain, “MODIS and SeaWiFS on-orbit lunar calibration,” Proc. SPIE 7081, 70810Y (2008). [CrossRef]
  2. R. E. Eplee, Jr., X. Xiong, J.-Q. Sun, G. Meister, and C. R. McClain, “The cross calibration of SeaWiFS and MODIS using on-orbit observations of the Moon,” Proc. SPIE 7452, 74520X(2009). [CrossRef]
  3. J. J. Butler, “On-orbit cross-calibration of AM satellite remote sensing instruments using the Moon,” presented at the International Workshop on Radiometric and Geometric Calibration, Gulfport, Mississippi, 2–5 December 2003.
  4. H. H. Kieffer and T. C. Stone, “The spectral irradiance of the Moon,” Astron. J. 129, 2887–2901 (2005). [CrossRef]
  5. T. C. Stone and H. H. Kieffer, “Use of the Moon to support on-orbit sensor calibration for climate change measurements,” Proc. SPIE 6296, 62960Y (2006). [CrossRef]
  6. T. C. Stone, “Radiometric calibration stability and inter-calibration of solar-band instruments in orbit using the Moon,” Proc. SPIE 7081, 70810X (2008). [CrossRef]
  7. R. E. Eplee, Jr., R. A. Barnes, F. S. Patt, G. Meister, and C. R. McClain, “SeaWiFS lunar calibration methodology after six years on orbit,” Proc. SPIE 5542, 1–13 (2004). [CrossRef]
  8. J. Sun, X. Xiong, W. L. Barnes, and B. Guenther, “MODIS reflective solar bands on-orbit lunar calibration,” IEEE Trans. Geosci. Remote Sens. 45, 2383–2393 (2007). [CrossRef]
  9. R. E. Eplee, Jr., S. W. Bailey, R. A. Barnes, H. H. Kieffer, and C. R. McClain, “Comparison of SeaWiFS on-orbit lunar and vicarious calibrations,” Proc. SPIE 6296, 629610 (2006). [CrossRef]
  10. R. A. Barnes, A. W. Holmes, W. L. Barnes, W. E. Esaias, C. R. McClain, and T. Svitek, “SeaWiFS prelaunch radiometric calibration and spectral characterization,” NASA Tech. Memo. 104566 23, S.B.Hooker, E.R.Firestone, and J.G.Acker, eds. (NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, 1994), p. 55.
  11. X. Xiong, J. Sun, and W. Barnes, “Intercomparison of on-orbit calibration consistency between Terra and Aqua MODIS reflective solar bands using the Moon,” IEEE Geosci. Remote. Sens. Lett. 5, 778–782 (2008). [CrossRef]
  12. K. Thome, J. Czapla-Meyrs, and S. Biggar, “Vicarious calibration of Aqua and Terra MODIS,” Proc. SPIE 5151, 395–405(2003). [CrossRef]
  13. C. Pan, J. Xiong, and N. Che, “MODIS pre-launch reflective solar band response vs. scan angle,” Proc. SPIE 6677, 66770R (2007). [CrossRef]
  14. J. Sun, X. Xiong, H. Chen, A. Angai, X. Geng, and A. Wu, “Time-dependent response versus scan angle for the MODIS reflective solar bands,” Proc. SPIE 7452, 745219 (2009). [CrossRef]
  15. B. A. Franz, S. W. Bailey, P. J. Werdell, and C. R. McClain, “Sensor-independent approach to the vicarious calibration of satellite ocean color radiometry,” Appl. Opt. 46, 5068–5082(2007). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  16. R. A. Barnes, R. E. Eplee, Jr., F. S. Patt, and C. R. McClain, “Changes in the radiometric sensitivity of SeaWiFS determined from lunar and solar-based measurements,” Appl. Opt. 38, 4649–4664 (1999). [CrossRef]
  17. J. Sun, X. Xiong, B. Guenther, and W. Barnes, “Radiometric stability monitoring of the MODIS reflective solar bands using the Moon,” Metrologia 40, S85–S88 (2003). [CrossRef]
  18. F. S. Patt, R. E. Eplee, R. A. Barnes, G. Meister, and J. J. Butler, “Use of the Moon as a calibration reference for NPP VIIRS,” Proc. SPIE 5882, 588215 (2005). [CrossRef]
  19. R. E. Eplee, Jr., F. S. Patt, G. Meister, B. A. Franz, S. W. Bailey, and C. R. McClain, “On-orbit calibration of SeaWiFS: revised temperature and gain corrections,” Proc. SPIE 6677, 66770E (2007). [CrossRef]
  20. R. E. Eplee, Jr., F. S. Patt, B. A. Franz, S. W. Bailey, G. Meister, and C. R. McClain, “SeaWiFS on-orbit gain and detector calibrations: effects on ocean products,” Appl. Opt. 46, 6733–6750 (2007). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

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.

Next Article »

OSA is a member of CrossRef.

CrossCheck Deposited