The Suomi-NPP VIIRS thermal emissive bands (TEB) are radiometrically calibrated on-orbit with reference to a blackbody (BB) regularly operated at approximately 292.5 K. The calibration stability at other temperature ranges can be evaluated based on the observations of remote targets with stable thermal properties, such as the Moon. VIIRS has scheduled viewings of the Moon on a nearly monthly basis at a phase angle of nearly -51 degrees. In this paper, the brightness temperatures (BT) of the lunar surface retrieved using the detector gain coefficients calibrated with the BB are trended to monitor the calibration stability of VIIRS TEB. Since the Lunar surface temperatures are spatially nonuniform and vary greatly with the solar illumination geometry, the BT trending must be based on the same regions of the Moon under the same solar illumination condition. Also, the TEB lunar images are always partially saturated because the highest lunar surface temperatures are beyond the dynamic range of all VIIRS TEB detectors. Therefore, a temporally dynamic mask is designed to clip a fraction of the lunar images corresponding to the regions of the Moon that may saturate the detector at any lunar event. The BT trending is then based on the hottest pixels not clipped by the mask. Results show that, since the launch of VIIRS to mid-2016, the radiometric calibration of all TEB detectors has been stable within ±0.4 K at the BT range of as high as 350-260 K.
Zhipeng Wang, Xiaoxiong Xiong, and Yonghong Li, "Update of S-NPP VIIRS thermal emissive bands radiometric calibration stability monitoring using the moon," Proc. SPIE 10000, Sensors, Systems, and Next-Generation Satellites XX, 1000013 (Presented at SPIE Remote Sensing: September 28, 2016; Published: 19 October 2016); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2241446.
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