Arnone, R; Fargion, G; Martinolich, P; Ladner, S; Lawson, A; Bowers, J; Ondrusek, M; Zibordi, G; Lee, Z; Trees, C; Davis, C; Ahmed, S (2012). Validation of the VIIRS Ocean Color. OCEAN SENSING AND MONITORING IV, 8372, 83720G.
The Joint Polar Satellite System (JPSS) launched the Suomi National Polar-Orbiting Partnership (NPP) satellite including the Visible Infrared Imager Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) on October 28, 2011 which has the capability to monitor ocean color properties. Four months after launch, we present an initial assessment of the VIIRS ocean color products including inter-comparisons with satellite and in situ observations. Satellite ocean color is used to characterize water quality properties, however, this requires that the sensor is well characterized and calibrated, and that processing addresses atmospheric correction to derive radiometric water leaving radiance (nLw(lambda)). These radiometric properties are used to retrieve products such as chlorophyll, optical backscattering and absorption. The JPSS ocean calibration and validation program for VIIRS establishes methods and procedures to insure the accuracy of the retrieved ocean satellite products and to provide methods to improve algorithms and characterize the product uncertainty. A global monitoring network was established to integrate in situ data collection with satellite retrieved water leaving radiance values from ocean color satellites including Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS), MEdium Resolution Imaging Spectrometer (MERIS) and VIIRS. The global network provides a monitoring capability to evaluate the quality of the VIIRS nLw(lambda) in different areas around the world and enables an evaluation and validation of the products using in situ data and other satellites. Monitoring of ocean color satellite retrievals is performed by tracking the "gain" at the Top of the Atmosphere (TOA) and then performing a vicarious adjustment fo reach site. VIIRS ocean color products are compared with MODIS and MERIS retrieved nLw and chlorophyll, and have been shown to provide similar quality. We believe that VIIRS can provide a follow-on to MODIS and MERIS equivalent ocean color products for operational monitoring of water quality. Additional research, including an assessment of stability, a full characterization of the sensor and algorithm comparisons is underway. Weekly sensor calibration tables (look up tables) are produced by JPSS and an evaluation of their impact on ocean color products is ongoing.