Abstract

The Sea-Viewing Wide-Field-of-View Sensor (SeaWiFS) has made monthly observations of the Moon since 1997. Using 66 monthly measurements, the SeaWiFS calibration team has developed a correction for the instrument’s on-orbit response changes. Concurrently, a lunar irradiance model has been developed by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) from extensive Earth-based observations of the Moon. The lunar irradiances measured by SeaWiFS are compared with the USGS model. The comparison shows essentially identical response histories for SeaWiFS, with differences from the model of less than 0.05% per thousand days in the long-term trends. From the SeaWiFS experience we have learned that it is important to view the entire lunar image at a constant phase angle from measurement to measurement and to understand, as best as possible, the size of each lunar image. However, a constant phase angle is not required for using the USGS model. With a long-term satellite lunar data set it is possible to determine instrument changes at a quality level approximating that from the USGS lunar model. However, early in a mission, when the dependence on factors such as phase and libration cannot be adequately determined from satellite measurements alone, the USGS model is critical to an understanding of trends in instruments that use the Moon for calibration. This is the case for SeaWiFS.

© 2004 Optical Society of America

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