Impacts of VIIRS SDR performance on ocean color products

Menghua Wang, Xiaoming Liu, Liqin Tan, Lide Jiang, Seunghyun Son, Wei Shi, Kameron Rausch, Kenneth Voss

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

104 Scopus citations


One of the primary goals for the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) on board the Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership is to provide the science and user communities with the data continuity of the Environmental Data Records (EDR) (or Level-2 products) over global oceanic waters for various research and applications, including assessment of climatic and environmental variations. The ocean color EDR is one of the most important products derived from VIIRS. Since ocean color EDR is processed from the upstream Sensor Data Records (SDR) (or Level-1B data), the objective of this study is to evaluate the impact of the SDR on the VIIRS ocean color EDR. The quality of the SDR relies on prelaunch sensor characterizations as well as on-orbit radiometric calibrations, which are used to develop the sensor F-factor lookup tables (F-LUTs). VIIRS F-LUTs derived from solar and lunar calibrations have been used in processing data from the VIIRS Raw Data Records (or Level-0 data) to SDR. In this study, three sets of F-LUTs with different generation schemes have been used to reprocess the SDR and then the ocean color EDR for product evaluations. VIIRS ocean color products are compared with in situ data from the Marine Optical Buoy and products from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on the satellite Aqua. It is found that the data quality of VIIRS operational ocean color products before 6 February 2012 is poor due to the inappropriate use of the at-launch F-LUTs for the SDR calibration, and that the recently updated VIIRS F-LUTs have significantly improved the SDR and ocean color EDR. Using reprocessed SDR with updated F-LUTs and including vicarious calibration, VIIRS ocean color EDR products are consistent with those from MODIS-Aqua in global deep waters. Although there are still some significant issues with VIIRS ocean color EDR, e.g., poor data quality over coastal regions, our results demonstrate that VIIRS has great potential to provide the science and user communities with consistently high-quality global ocean color data records that are established from heritage ocean color sensors such as MODIS-Aqua. Key Points Evaluation of VIIRS SDR performance on ocean color productsOcean color products are highly sensitive to the sensor on-orbit calibrationVIIRS has great potential to provide high quality global ocean color data

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)10,347-10,360
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research Atmospheres
Issue number18
StatePublished - Sep 27 2013


  • Satellite remote sensing
  • Sensor Calibration
  • VIIRS Ocean Color Products

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Forestry
  • Oceanography
  • Aquatic Science
  • Ecology
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Soil Science
  • Geochemistry and Petrology
  • Earth-Surface Processes
  • Atmospheric Science
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Space and Planetary Science
  • Palaeontology


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