Abstract

We describe the two 140-mm-aperture simulated blackbody sources used for the on-board calibration of the Along Track Scanning Radiometer, a spaceborne thermal infrared instrument for the accurate remote sensing of sea surface temperature, in operation since 1991. The design of these spaceborne sources, which operate at ≈ −10 °C and ≈ +30 °C, allows them to meet their unprecedented accuracy goal, namely a 3σ uncertainty in their brightness temperature of <0.1 K for the whole mission. This performance is empirically demonstrated in the laboratory and in flight by long-term temperature readout tests, temperature uniformity measurements, and direct emissivity measurements.

© 1996 Optical Society of America

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