The EPS-SG Visible/Infrared Imaging (VII) mission is dedicated to supporting the optical imagery user needs for Numerical Weather Prediction (NWP), Nowcasting (NWC) and climate in the timeframe beyond 2020. The VII mission is fulfilled by the METimage instrument, developed by the German Space Agency (DLR) and funded by the German government and EUMETSAT. Following on from an important list of predecessors such as the Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) and the Moderate resolution Imaging Spectro-radiometer (MODIS), METimage will fly in the mid-morning orbit of the Joint Polar System, whilst the early-afternoon orbits are served by the JPSS (U.S. Joint Polar Satellite System) Visible Infrared Imager Radiometer Suite (VIIRS). METimage itself is a cross-purpose medium resolution, multi-spectral optical imager, measuring the optical spectrum of radiation emitted and reflected by the Earth from a low-altitude sun synchronous orbit over a minimum swath width of 2700 km. The top of the atmosphere outgoing radiance will be sampled every 500 m (at nadir) with measurements made in 20 spectral channels ranging from 443 nm in the visible up to 13.345 μm in the thermal infrared. The three major objectives of the EPS-SG METimage calibration and validation activities are: • Verification of the instrument performances through continuous in-flight calibration and characterisation, including monitoring of long term stability. • Provision of validated level 1 and level 2 METimage products. • Revision of product processing facilities, i.e. algorithms and auxiliary data sets, to assure that products conform with user requirements, and then, if possible, exceed user expectations. This paper will describe the overall Calibration and Validation (Cal/Val) logic and the methods adopted to ensure that the METimage data products meet performance specifications for the lifetime of the mission. Such methods include inter-comparisons with other missions through simultaneous nadir overpasses and comparisons with ground based observations, analysis of algorithm internal diagnostics to confirm retrieval performance for geophysical products and vicarious calibration to assist with validation of the instrument on-board calibration. Any identified deficiencies in the products will lead to either an update any auxiliary data sets (e.g. calibration key data) that are used to configure the product processors or to a revision of algorithms themselves. The Cal/Val activities are mostly foreseen during commissioning but will inevitably extend to routine operations in order to take on board seasonal variations and ensure long term stability of the calibrated radiances and geophysical products. Pre-requisite to validation of products at scientific level is that the satellite and instrument itself have been verified against their respective specifications both pre-launch and during the satellite in-orbit verification phase.
P. Phillips, R. Bonsignori, P. Schlüssel, F. Schmülling, L. Spezzi, P. Watts, and I. Zerfowski, "Overview of calibration and validation activities for the EUMETSAT polar system: second generation (EPS-SG) visible/infrared imager (METimage)," Proc. SPIE 10000, Sensors, Systems, and Next-Generation Satellites XX, 100000S (Presented at SPIE Remote Sensing: September 27, 2016; Published: 19 October 2016); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2240938.
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