There are over 25 years of historical satellite data available for climate analysis. The historical satellite data needs to be
properly calibrated, especially in the visible, for sensors with no onboard calibration. Accurate vicarious calibration of
historical satellites relies on invariant targets, such as the moon, Dome C, and deserts. Deep convective clouds (DCC)
also show promise of being a stable or predictable target viewable by all satellites, since they behave as solar diffusers.
However DCC have not been well characterized for calibration. Ten years of well-calibrated MODIS radiances are now
available. DCC can easily be identified using IR thresholds, where the IR calibration can be traced to the onboard
blackbodies. The natural variability of the DCC radiance will be analyzed geographically, seasonally, and for
differences of convection initiated over land and ocean. Functionality between particle size and ozone absorption with
DCC albedo will be examined theoretically. Although DCC clouds are nearly Lambertian, the angular distribution of
reflectances will be sampled and compared with theoretical models. Both Aqua and Terra MODIS DCC angular models
were compared for consistency. The DCC method was able to identify two calibration coefficient discontinuities in the
Terra-MODIS Collection 5 10-year record and validated the calibration stability of MODIS to within 0.1% per decade.
The DCC method needs to take into account the functionality of the 0.65μm DCC radiance with the 11μm brightness
temperature threshold and the DCC 0.65μm radiance difference observed over the tropical western pacific and the
afternoon generated DCC over land. Both of these cases cause a bias on the order of 5%. These improvements are the
first steps towards successful use of DCC as an absolute calibration target.