Abstract

It is shown that airborne active–passive (laser–solar) ocean color data can be used to develop and validate oceanic radiance models. The two principal inputs to the oceanic radiance model, chlorophyll pigment and incident solar irradiance, are obtained from a nadir-viewing laser-induced fluorescence spectrometer and a zenith-viewing radiometer, respectively. The computed water-leaving radiances are validated by comparison with the calibrated output of a separate nadir-viewing radiometer subsystem. In the North Atlantic Ocean, the calculated and the observed airborne radiances are found to compare very favorably for the 443-, 520-, and 550-nm wavelengths over an ~170-km flight track east of St. John’s, Newfoundland. The results further suggest that the semianalytical radiance model of ocean color, the airborne active (laser) fluorescence spectrometer, and the passive (solar) radiometric instrumentation are all remarkably precise.

© 1995 Optical Society of America

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