From Event: SPIE Optical Engineering + Applications, 2017
The accurate on-orbit radiometric calibration of optical sensors has become a challenge for space agencies who gather their effort through international working groups such as CEOS/WGCV or GSICS with the objective to insure the consistency of space measurements and to reach an absolute accuracy compatible with more and more demanding scientific needs. Different targets are traditionally used for calibration depending on the sensor or spacecraft specificities: from on-board calibration systems to ground targets, they all take advantage of our capacity to characterize and model them. But achieving the in-flight stability of a diffuser panel is always a challenge while the calibration over ground targets is often limited by their BDRF characterization and the atmosphere variability. Thanks to their agility, some satellites have the capability to view extra-terrestrial targets such as the moon or stars. The moon is widely used for calibration and its albedo is known through ROLO (RObotic Lunar Observatory) USGS model but with a poor absolute accuracy limiting its use to sensor drift monitoring or cross-calibration. Although the spectral irradiance of some stars is known with a very high accuracy, it was not really shown that they could provide an absolute reference for remote sensors calibration. This paper shows that high resolution optical sensors can be calibrated with a high absolute accuracy using stars. The agile-body PLEIADES 1A satellite is used for this demonstration. The star based calibration principle is described and the results are provided for different stars, each one being acquired several times. These results are compared to the official calibration provided by ground targets and the main error contributors are discussed.
Aimé Meygret, Gwendoline Blanchet, Flore Mounier, and Christian Buil, "The stars: an absolute radiometric reference for the on-orbit calibration of PLEIADES-HR satellites," Proc. SPIE 10402, Earth Observing Systems XXII, 1040228 (Presented at SPIE Optical Engineering + Applications: August 10, 2017; Published: 5 September 2017); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2272745.
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