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23 September 2013 Preliminary on-orbit performance of the Thermal Infrared Sensor (TIRS) on board Landsat 8
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Abstract
The Thermal Infrared Sensor (TIRS) on board Landsat 8 continues thermal band measurements of the Earth for the Landsat program. TIRS improves on previous Landsat designs by making use of a pushbroom sensor layout to collect data from the Earth in two spectral channels. The radiometric performance requirements of each detector were set to ensure the proper radiometric integrity of the instrument. The performance of TIRS was characterized during pre-flight thermal-vacuum testing. Calibration methods and algorithms were developed to translate the raw signal from the detectors into an accurate at-aperture spectral radiance. The TIRS instrument has the ability to view an on-board variable-temperature blackbody and a deep space view port for calibration purposes while operating on-orbit.

After TIRS was successfully activated on-orbit, checks were performed on the instrument data to determine its image quality. These checkouts included an assessment of the on-board blackbody and deep space views as well as normal Earth scene collects. The calibration parameters that were determined pre-launch were updated by utilizing data from these preliminary on-orbit assessments. The TIRS on-orbit radiometric performance was then characterized using the updated calibration parameters. Although the characterization of the instrument is continually assessed over the lifetime of the mission, the preliminary results indicate that TIRS is meeting the noise and stability requirements while the pixel-to-pixel uniformity performance and the absolute radiometric performance require further study.
© (2013) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Matthew Montanaro, Zelalem Tesfaye, Allen Lunsford, Brian Wenny, Dennis Reuter, Brian Markham, Ramsey Smith, and Kurtis Thome "Preliminary on-orbit performance of the Thermal Infrared Sensor (TIRS) on board Landsat 8", Proc. SPIE 8866, Earth Observing Systems XVIII, 88661D (23 September 2013); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2025650
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