NIR- and SWIR-based on-orbit vicarious calibrations for satellite ocean color sensors

Menghua Wang, Wei Shi, Lide Jiang, Kenneth Voss

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations


The near-infrared (NIR) and shortwave infrared (SWIR)-based atmospheric correction algorithms are used in satellite ocean color data processing, with the SWIR-based algorithm particularly useful for turbid coastal and inland waters. In this study, we describe the NIR- and two SWIR-based on-orbit vicarious calibration approaches for satellite ocean color sensors, and compare results from these three on-orbit vicarious calibrations using satellite measurements from the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) onboard the Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership (SNPP). Vicarious calibration gains for VIIRS spectral bands are derived using the in situ normalized water-leaving radiance nLw(λ) spectra from the Marine Optical Buoy (MOBY) in waters off Hawaii. The SWIR vicarious gains are determined using VIIRS measurements from the South Pacific Gyre region, where waters are the clearest and generally stable. Specifically, vicarious gain sets for VIIRS spectral bands of 410, 443, 486, 551, and 671 nm derived from the NIR method using the NIR 745 and 862 nm bands, the SWIR method using the SWIR 1238 and 1601 nm bands, and the SWIR method using the SWIR 1238 and 2257 nm bands are (0.979954, 0.974892, 0.974685, 0.965832, 0.979042), (0.980344, 0.975344, 0.975357, 0.965531, 0.979518), and (0.980820, 0.975609, 0.975761, 0.965888, 0.978576), respectively. Thus, the NIR-based vicarious calibration gains are consistent with those from the two SWIR-based approaches with discrepancies mostly within ∼0.05% from three data processing methods. In addition, the NIR vicarious gains (745 and 862 nm) derived from the two SWIR methods are (0.982065, 1.00001) and (0.981811, 1.00000), respectively, with the difference ∼0.03% at the NIR 745 nm band. This is the fundamental basis for the NIR-SWIR combined atmospheric correction algorithm, which has been used to derive improved satellite ocean color products over open oceans and turbid coastal/inland waters. Therefore, a unified vicarious gain set for VIIRS bands M1-M8 and M10-M11 has been implemented in the VIIRS ocean color data processing. Using the unified vicarious gain set, VIIRS mission-long ocean color data have been successfully reprocessed using the NIR-, SWIR-, and NIR-SWIR-based atmospheric correction algorithms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)20437-20453
Number of pages17
JournalOptics Express
Issue number18
StatePublished - Sep 5 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics


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