The Operational Land Imager (OLI) is one of two instruments onboard the Landsat 8 platform, which was launched on 11 February 2013 from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. The multispectral bands of OLI retain the 30-m spatial resolution of Landsat 5 TM and Landsat 7 ETM+, but improvements to the system include 12-bit radiometric resolution, eight multispectral bands in the VNIR and SWIR spectral regions, and one panchromatic band. The earlier TM and ETM+ sensors use a whiskbroom configuration, while OLI uses a pushbroom configuration, which allows it to have a higher signal-to-noise ratio than previous Landsat instruments. This also creates challenges in radiometric calibration due to the large number of detectors on the 14 focal plane modules.
Long-term data continuity is a crucial component of the 40-year Landsat series of satellites, and ground-based vicarious calibration has played an important role in ensuring that these sensors remain on the same radiometric scale. This work presents the early ground-based in-flight radiometric calibration of OLI, which was determined using the traditional and well-understood reflectance-based approach, as well as the Radiometric Calibration Test Site (RadCaTS), which is an automated suite of instruments located at Railroad Valley, Nevada.