Czapla-Myers, JS; Leisso, NP; Anderson, NJ; Biggar, SF (2012). On-orbit radiometric calibration of Earth-observing sensors using the Radiometric Calibration Test Site (RadCaTS). ALGORITHMS AND TECHNOLOGIES FOR MULTISPECTRAL, HYPERSPECTRAL, AND ULTRASPECTRAL IMAGERY XVIII, 8390, 83902B.
Vicarious techniques are used to provide supplemental radiometric calibration data for sensors with onboard calibration systems, and are increasingly important for sensors without onboard calibration systems. The Radiometric Calibration Test Site (RadCaTS) is located at Railroad Valley, Nevada. It is a facility that was developed with the goal of increasing the amount of ground-based radiometric calibration data that are collected annually while maintaining the current level of radiometric accuracy produced by traditional manned field campaigns. RadCaTS is based on the reflectance-based approach, and currently consists of a Cimel sun photometer to measure the atmosphere, a weather station to monitor meteorological conditions, and ground-viewing radiometers (GVRs) that are used the determine the surface reflectance throughout the 1 x 1-km area. The data from these instruments are used in MODTRAN5 to determine the at-sensor spectral radiance at the time of overpass. This work describes the RadCaTS concept, the instruments used to obtain the data, and the processing method used to determine the surface reflectance and top-of-atmosphere spectral radiance. A discussion on the design and calibration of three new eight-channel GVRs is introduced, and the surface reflectance retrievals are compared to in situ measurements. Radiometric calibration results determined using RadCaTS are compared to Landsat 7 ETM+, MODIS, and MISR.