Angal, A, Xiong, XX, Choi, TY, Chander, G, Wu, AS (2010). Using the Sonoran and Libyan Desert test sites to monitor the temporal stability of reflective solar bands for Landsat 7 enhanced thematic mapper plus and Terra moderate resolution imaging spectroradiometer sensors. JOURNAL OF APPLIED REMOTE SENSING, 4, 43525.
Remote sensing imagery is effective for monitoring environmental and climatic changes because of the extent of the global coverage and long time scale of the observations. Radiometric calibration of remote sensing sensors is essential for quantitative & qualitative science and applications. Pseudo-invariant ground targets have been extensively used to monitor the long-term radiometric calibration stability of remote sensing sensors. This paper focuses on the use of the Sonoran Desert site to monitor the radiometric stability of the Landsat 7 (L7) Enhanced Thematic Mapper Plus (ETM+) and Terra Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) sensors. The results are compared with the widely used Libya 4 Desert site in an attempt to evaluate the suitability of the Sonoran Desert site for sensor inter-comparison and calibration stability monitoring. Since the overpass times of ETM+ and MODIS differ by about 30 minutes, the impacts due to different view geometries or test site Bi-directional Reflectance Distribution Function (BRDF) are also presented. In general, the long-term drifts in the visible bands are relatively large compared to the drift in the near-infrared bands of both sensors. The lifetime Top-of-Atmosphere (TOA) reflectance trends from both sensors over 10 years are extremely stable, changing by no more than 0.1% per year (except ETM+ Band 1 and MODIS Band 3) over the two sites used for the study. The use of a semi-empirical BRDF model can reduce the impacts due to view geometries, thus enabling a better estimate of sensor temporal drifts.