Abstract

The radiometric calibration of the Sea-Viewing Wide-Field-of-View Sensor (SeaWiFS) in the near infrared (band 8, centered on 865 nm) is evaluated by use of ground-based radiometer measurements of solar extinction and sky radiance in the Sun’s principal plane at two sites, one located 13 km off Venice, Italy, and the other on the west coast of Lanai Island, Hawaii. The aerosol optical thickness determined from solar extinction is used in an iterative scheme to retrieve the pseudo aerosol phase function, i.e., the product of single-scattering albedo and phase function, in which sky radiance is corrected for multiple scattering effects. No assumption about the aerosol model is required. The aerosol parameters are the inputs into a radiation-transfer code used to compute the SeaWiFS radiance. The calibration method has a theoretical inaccuracy of plus or minus 2.0–3.6%, depending on the solar zenith angle and the SeaWiFS geometry. The major source of error is in the calibration of the ground-based radiometer operated in radiance mode, assumed to be accurate to ±2%. The establishment of strict criteria for atmospheric stability, angular geometry, and surface conditions resulted in selection of only 26 days for the analysis during 1999–2000 (Venice site) and 1998–2001 (Lanai site). For these days the measured level-1B radiance from the SeaWiFS Project Office was generally lower than the corresponding simulated radiance in band 8 by 7.0% on average, ±2.8%.

© 2005 Optical Society of America

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