Abstract

The NASA Ocean Biology Processing Group (OBPG) developed two independent calibrations of the Suomi National Polar-Orbiting Partnership (SNPP) Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) moderate resolution reflective solar bands using solar diffuser measurements and lunar observations, and implemented a combined solar- and lunar-based calibration to track temporal changes in radiometric response of the instrument. Differences between the solar and lunar data sets have been used to identify issues and verify improvements in each. Linearization of the counts-to-radiance conversion yields a more consistent calibration at low radiance levels. Correction of a recently identified error in the VIIRS solar unit vector coordinate frame has been incorporated into the solar data and diffuser screen transmission functions. Temporal trends in the solar diffuser stability monitor data have been evaluated and addressed. Fits to the solar calibration time series show mean residuals per band of 0.067%–0.17%. Periodic residuals in the VIIRS lunar data are confirmed to arise from a wavelength-dependent libration effect for the sub-spacecraft point in the output of the U.S. Geological Survey Robotic Lunar Observatory photometric model of the Moon. Temporal variations in the relative spectral responses for each band have been assessed, and significant impact on band M1 (412 nm) lunar data has been identified and rectified. Fits to the lunar calibration time series, incorporating sub-spacecraft point libration corrections, show mean residuals per band of 0.069%–0.20%. Lunar calibrations have been used to adjust the solar-derived radiometric corrections for bands M1, M3, and M4. After all corrections, the relative differences in the solar and lunar calibrations for bands M1–M7 are 0.093%–0.22%. The OBPG has achieved a radiometric stability for the VIIRS on-orbit calibration that is commensurate with those achieved for SeaWiFS and Aqua MODIS, supporting the incorporation of VIIRS data into the long-term NASA ocean color data record.

© 2015 Optical Society of America

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