We analyze the sensor out-of-band (OOB) effects for satellite ocean color sensors of the sea-viewing wild field-of-view sensor (SeaWiFS), the moderate resolution imaging spectroradiometer (MODIS), and the visible infrared imaging radiometer suite (VIIRS) for phytoplankton-dominated open oceans and turbid coastal and inland waters, following the approach of Wang et al. [Appl. Opt. 40, 343 (2001) [CrossRef] ]. The applicability of the open ocean water reflectance model of Morel and Maritorena [J. Geophys. Res. 106, 7163 (2001) [CrossRef] ] (MM01) for the sensor OOB effects is analyzed for oligotrophic waters in Hawaii. The MM01 model predicted OOB contributions for oligotrophic waters are consistent with the result from in situ measurements. The OOB effects cause an apparent shift in sensor band center wavelengths in radiometric response, which depends on the sensor spectral response function and the target radiance being measured. Effective band center wavelength is introduced and calculated for three satellite sensors and for various water types. Using the effective band center wavelengths, satellite and in situ measured water optical property data can be more meaningfully and accurately compared. It is found that, for oligotrophic waters, the OOB effect is significant for the SeaWiFS 555 nm band (and somewhat 510 nm band), MODIS 412 nm band, and VIIRS 551 nm band. VIIRS and SeaWiFS have similar sensor OOB performance. For coastal and inland waters, however, the OOB effect is generally not significant for all three sensors, even though some small OOB effects do exist. This study highlights the importance of understanding the sensor OOB effect and the necessity of a complete prelaunch sensor characterization on the quality of ocean color products. Furthermore, it shows that hyperspectral in situ optics measurements are preferred for the purpose of accurately validating satellite-measured normalized water-leaving radiance spectra data.
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