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Tracking the calibration stability and consistency of the 3.7, 11.0 and 12.0 μm channels of the NOAA-KLM AVHRR with MODIS

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The NOAA-KLM satellites (NOAA-15 to 18) are the current polar-orbiting operational environmental satellites (POES) that carry the Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR). This study examines the calibration stability and consistency of all three infrared channels (3.7, 11.0 and 12.0 μm) of AVHRR onboard NOAA-15 to 18. The short-term stability is examined from variations of the scan-by-scan gain response, while the long-term stability and calibration consistency are examined by tracking the trends of gain response and measured scene brightness temperatures. The relative differences of observed scene brightness temperatures among NOAA-15 to 18 AVHRR are determined using MODIS as a transfer radiometer based on observations from simultaneous nadir overpasses (SNO). Results show that variations of the scan-to-scan gain responses are within 0.10% under normal operational conditions, while long-term gain changes over six years from 2001 to 2006 vary from 2 to 4% depending on channel. Long-term trending results show that total six-year drifts in observed brightness temperature from NOAA-15 to 18 AVHRR are less than 0.5 K for a given scene temperature in the 250 to 270 K range for the 3.7, 11.0 and 12.0 μm channels, respectively. The calibration consistency is examined for a scene temperature range of 220 to 290 K. The temperature biases among NOAA-16 to 18 AVHRR are within ±0.5 K for the 11.0 and 12.0 μm channels. For NOAA-15 AVHRR, biases of -2.0 K at 11.0 μm and -1.5 K at 12.0 μm are found in comparison with others at the low end of the temperature range. For the 3.7 μm channel, relative biases up to a few degrees among NOAA-15 to 18 could be found at low brightness temperatures.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Science and Systems Applications, Inc., Lanham, MD 2: Earth Science Directorate, NASA/GSFC, Greenbelt, MD 3: NOAA/NESDIS/Office of Research and Applications, Camp Springs, MD

Publication date: 2009-01-01

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