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Ellicott, E, Vermote, E, Petitcolin, F, Hook, SJ (2009). Validation of a New Parametric Model for Atmospheric Correction of Thermal Infrared Data. IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON GEOSCIENCE AND REMOTE SENSING, 47(1), 295-311.

Surface temperature is a key component for understanding energy fluxes between the Earth's surface and atmosphere. Accurate retrieval of surface temperature from satellite observations requires proper correction of the thermal channels for atmospheric emission and attenuation. Although the split-window method has offered relatively accurate measurements, this empirical approach requires in situ data and will only perform well if the in situ data are from the same surface type and similar climatology. Single channel correction reduces uncertainty inherent to the split-window method, but requires an accurate radiative transfer model and description of the atmospheric profile. Unfortunately, this method is impractical for operational correction of satellite retrievals due to the size of data sets and computation time required by radiative transfer modeling. We present a thermal parametric model based upon the MODTRAN radiative transfer code and tuned to Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectrometer (MODIS) channels. Comparison with MODTRAN showed a good performance for the parametric model and computation speeds approximately three orders of magnitude faster. Sea surface temperature (SST) calculated using atmospheric correction parameters generated from our model showed consistent results (rmse = 0.49 K) and small bias (-0.45 K) with the MODIS SST product (MYD28). Validation of surface temperatures derived using our model with in situ land and water temperature measurements exhibited accuracy (mean bias < 0.35 K) and low error (rmse < 1 K) for MODIS bands 31 and 32. Finally, an investigation of profile sources and their effect on atmospheric correction offered insight into the application of the parametric model for operational correction of MODIS thermal hands.



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