From Event: SPIE Optical Engineering + Applications, 2017
In the EarthCARE mission the BBR (Broad Band Radiometer) has the role of measuring the net earth radiance (i.e. total reflected-solar and thermally-emitted radiances), from the same earth scene as viewed by the other instruments (aerosol lidar, cloud radar and spectral imager). It does this measurement at 10km scene size and in 3 view angles. It is an imaging radiometer in that it uses micro-bolometer linear-array detector (pushbroom orientation), to over-sample these required scenes, with the samples being binned on-ground to produce the 10km radiance data. For the measurements of total earth radiance, the BBR is based on the heritage of Earth Radiation Budget (ERB) instruments. The ground calibration methods of this type of sensor is technically very similar to other EO instruments that measure in the thermalIR, but with added challenges: (1) The thermal-IR measurement has to have a much wider spectral range than normal thermal-IR channels to cover the whole earth-emission spectrum i.e. ~4 to >50microns; (2) The 2nd channel (reflected solar radiance) must also have a broad response to cover almost the whole solar spectrum, i.e. ~0.3 to 4microns. And this solar channel must be measured on the same radiometric calibration as the thermal channel, which in practice is best done by using the same radiometer for both channels. The radiometer is designed to be very broad-band i.e. 0.3 to 50microns (i.e. more than two decades), to cover both ranges, and a switchable spectral filter (short-pass cutoff at 4μm) is used to separate the channels. The on-ground measurements which are required to link the calibration of these channels will be described. A calibration of absolute responsivity in each of the two bands is needed; in the thermal-IR channel this is by the normal method of using a calibrated blackbody test source, and in the solar channel it is by means of a narrow-band (laser) and a reference radiometer (from NPL). A calibration of relative spectral response is also needed, across this wide range, for the purpose of linking the two channels, and for converting the narrow-band solar channel measurement to broad-band.
Martin E. Caldwell, David Spilling, William Grainger, E. Theocharous, Martin Whalley, Nigel Wright, Anthony K. Ward, Edward Jones, Joseph Hampton, David Parker, John Delderfield, Alan Pearce, Tony Richards, Grant Munro, Oliver Poynz Wright, Matthew Hampson, and David Forster, "The EarthCARE mission BBR instrument: ground testing of radiometric performance," Proc. SPIE 10402, Earth Observing Systems XXII, 1040204 (Presented at SPIE Optical Engineering + Applications: August 06, 2017; Published: 5 September 2017); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2273148.
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