Hook, SJ, Vaughan, RG, Tonooka, H, Schladow, SG (2007). "Absolute radiometric in-flight validation of mid infrared and thermal infrared data from ASTER and MODIS on the terra spacecraft using the Lake Tahoe, CA/NV, USA, automated validation site". IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON GEOSCIENCE AND REMOTE SENSING, 45(6), 1798-1807.
In December 1999, the first Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) instrument and an Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) instrument were launched into polar orbit on the Terra spacecraft. Both instruments measure surface radiance, which requires that they are calibrated and validated in flight. In-flight validation is essential to independently verify that instrument calibration correctly compensates for any changes in instrument response over time. In order to meet this requirement, an automated validation site was established at Lake Tahoe on the California/Nevada border in 1999 to validate the ASTER and MODIS thermal infrared (TIR, 7-13 mu m) and MODIS mid infrared (MIR, 3-n5 mu m) land-monitoring channels. Daytime and nighttime data were used to validate the TIR channels, and only nighttime data were used to validate the MIR channels to avoid any reflected solar contribution. Sixty-nine ASTER scenes and 155 MODIS-Terra scenes acquired between years 2000 and 2005 with near-nadir views were validated. The percent differences between the predicted and instrument at-sensor radiances for ASTER channels 10-14 were 0.165 +/- 0.776, 0.103 +/- 0.613, -0.305 +/- 0.613, -0.252 +/- 0.464, and -0.118 +/- 0.489, respectively. The percent differences for MODIS-Terra channels 20, 22, 23, 29, 31, and 32 were -1.375 +/- 0.973, -1.743 +/- 1.027, -0.898 +/- 0.970, 0.082 +/- 0.631, 0.044 +/- 0.541, and 0.151 +/- 0.563, respectively. The results indicate that the TIR at-sensor radiances from ASTER and MODIS-Terra have met the preflight radiometric calibration accuracy specification and provide well-catibrated data sets that are suitable for measuring absolute change. The results also show that the at-sensor radiances from the MODIS-Terra MIR channels have greater bias than expected based on the preflight radiometric calibration accuracy specification.