Radiometric calibration of Earth-observing satellite sensors is critical for tracking on-orbit gain changes throughout the satellite's mission. The Moon, being a stable, well-characterized radiometric target, has been used effectively for tracking the relative gain changes of the reflective solar bands for the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on board EOS AM-1 (Terra) and PM-1 (Aqua). The Moon is viewed through the MODIS space-view port, and the relative phase of the Moon is restricted to within 0.5 degrees of a chosen target phase to increase the accuracy of the calibration. These geometric restrictions require spacecraft maneuvers in order to bring space-view port into proper alignment with the position of the Moon when the phase requirement is met. In this paper, we describe a versatile tool for scheduling such maneuvers based on the required geometry and lunar phase restrictions for a general spacecraft bound instrument. The results of the scheduling tool have been verified using lunar images from Aqua and Terra MODIS after a scheduled roll maneuver was performed. This tool has also been tested for the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) and the Advanced Technology Microwave Sounder on-board the Suomi-NPP spacecraft. As an extension of this work, we have also developed a tool for scheduling views of bright stars. These stars provide another well-characterized radiometric source that can be used for sensor calibration. This tool has been implemented to determine the times in which a chosen star can be viewed by the high gain stages of the day/night band for the VIIRS instrument.
Truman Wilson and Xiaoxiong Xiong, "Scheduling observations of celestial objects for Earth observing sensor calibration," Proc. SPIE 10000, Sensors, Systems, and Next-Generation Satellites XX, 1000011 (Presented at SPIE Remote Sensing: September 28, 2016; Published: 19 October 2016); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2240648.
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