7 September 2006 SeaWiFS long-term solar diffuser reflectance trend analysis
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Abstract
The NASA Ocean Biology Processing Group's Calibration and Validation (Cal/Val) Team implemented daily solar calibrations of SeaWiFS to look for step-function changes in the instrument response and has used these calibrations to supplement the monthly lunar calibrations in monitoring the radiometric stability of SeaWiFS during its first year of on-orbit operations. The Team has undertaken an analysis of the mission-long solar calibration time series, with the lunar-derived radiometric corrections over time applied, to assess the long-term degradation of the solar diffuser reflectance over nine years on orbit. The SeaWiFS diffuser is an aluminum plate coated with YB71 paint. The bidirectional reflectance distribution function of the diffuser was not fully characterized before launch, so the Cal/Val Team has implemented a regression of the solar incidence angles and the drift in the node of the satellite's orbit against the diffuser time series to correct for solar incidence angle effects. An exponential function with a time constant of 200 days yields the best fit to the diffuser time series. The decrease in diffuser reflectance over the mission is wavelength-dependent, ranging from 9% in the blue (412 nm) to 5% in the red and near infrared (670-865 nm). The degradation of diffuser reflctance is similar to that observed for SeaWiFS radiometric response itself from lunar calibration time series for bands 1-5 (412-555 nm), though the magnitude of the change is four times larger for the diffuser. Evidently, the same optical degradation process has affected both the telescope optics and the solar diffuser in the blue and green. The Cal/Val Team has developed a methodology for computing the signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) for SeaWiFS on orbit from the diffuser time series. The on-orbit change in the SNR for each band over the nine-year mission is less than 7%. The on-orbit performance of the SeaWiFS solar diffuser should offer insight into the long-term on-orbit performance of solar diffusers on other instruments, such as MODIS, VIIRS, and ABI.
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Robert E. Eplee, Robert E. Eplee, Frederick S. Patt, Frederick S. Patt, Robert A. Barnes, Robert A. Barnes, Charles R. McClain, Charles R. McClain, } "SeaWiFS long-term solar diffuser reflectance trend analysis", Proc. SPIE 6296, Earth Observing Systems XI, 62960Q (7 September 2006); doi: 10.1117/12.679170; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.679170
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