Field-based nonimaging spectroradiometers are often used in vicarious calibration experiments for airborne or spaceborne imaging spectrometers. The calibration uncertainties associated with these ground measurements contribute substantially to the overall modeling error in radiance- or reflectance-based vicarious calibration experiments. Because of limitations in the radiometric stability of compact field spectroradiometers, vicarious calibration experiments are based primarily on reflectance measurements rather than on radiance measurements. To characterize the overall uncertainty of radiance-based approaches and assess the sources of uncertainty, we carried out a full laboratory calibration. This laboratory calibration of a nonimaging spectroradiometer is based on a measurement plan targeted at achieving a ≤10% uncertainty calibration. The individual calibration steps include characterization of the signal-to-noise ratio, the noise equivalent signal, the dark current, the wavelength calibration, the spectral sampling interval, the nonlinearity, directional and positional effects, the spectral scattering, the field of view, the polarization, the size-of-source effects, and the temperature dependence of a particular instrument. The traceability of the radiance calibration is established to a secondary National Institute of Standards and Technology calibration standard by use of a 95% confidence interval and results in an uncertainty of less than ±7.1% for all spectroradiometer bands.
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