Abstract

Two satellite-borne ocean-color sensors scheduled for launch in the mid 1990’s each have a spectral band (nominally 745–785 nm) that completely encompasses the O2 A band at 762 nm. These spectral bands are to be used in atmospheric correction of the color imagery by assessment of the aerosol contribution to the total radiance at the sensor. The effect of the O2 band on the radiance measured at the satellite is studied with a line-by-line backward Monte Carlo radiative transfer code. As expected, if the O2 absorption is ignored, unacceptably large errors in the atmospheric correction result. The effects of the absorption depend on the vertical profile of the aerosol. By assuming an aerosol profile—the base profile—we show that it is possible to remove most of the O2-absorption effects from atmospheric correction in a simple manner. We also investigate the sensitivity of the results to the details of the assumed base profile and find that, with the exception of situations in which there are significant quantities of aerosol in the stratosphere, e.g., following volcanic eruptions or in the presence of thin cirrus clouds, the quality of the atmospheric correction depends only weakly on the base profile. Situations with high concentrations of stratospheric aerosol require additional information regarding vertical structure for this spectral band to be used in atmospheric correction; however, it should be possible to infer the presence of such aerosol by a failure of the atmospheric correction to produce acceptable water-leaving radiance in the red. An important feature of our method for removal of the O2-absorption effects is that it permits the use of lookup tables that can be prepared in the absence of O2 absorption by the use of more efficient radiative transfer codes.

© 1995 Optical Society of America

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