Desert sites have been widely used for sensor calibration since they have a stable spectral response over time. Because of their high reflectances, the atmospheric effect on the upward radiance is relatively minimal. In addition, they are spatially uniform. Their temporal instability without atmospheric correction has been determined to be less than 1-2% over a year. Very-high-altitude (10 km) bright clouds are good validation targets in the visible and near-infrared spectra because of their high spectrally consistent reflectance. If the clouds are very high, there is no need to correct aerosol scattering and water vapor absorption as both aerosol and water vapor are distributed near the surface. Only Rayleigh scattering and ozone absorption need to be considered. This method has been found to give a 4% uncertainty.
Radiometric cross calibration of Earth observation sensors is a crucial need to guarantee or quantify the consistency of measurements from different sensors. ScaRaB is compatible with CERES mission. Two main spectral bands are measured by the radiometer: A short-wave channel (0.2 to 4 μm) dedicated to solar fluxes and a Total channel (0.2 to 200 μm) for fluxes combining the infrared earth radiance and the albedo. The earth long-wave radiance is isolated by subtracting the short-wave channel to the Total channel.
Both Earth Radiation Budget missions (CERES and ScaRaB) have the same specification: to provide an accuracy of ~1% in the measurement of short-wave and long-wave radiances and an estimation of the short-wave and long-wave fluxes less than 10 W/m2. We use the CERES PAPS and Cross-Track SSF datasets for direct radiances and fluxes comparisons during two validation phases. The first one occurred during April 17th to June 8th (51 days) in 2012 and the second one occurred between March 22th and May 31st 2015. The first validation campaign has been held with the CERES team using the Terra FM2 data. The CERES PAPS mode was used to align the swath scan, in order to increase the collocated pixels between the two instruments. This campaign allowed us to validate the ScaRaB radiances and to refine the error budget. The second validation campaign aims to provide a temporal monitoring of ScaRab calibration.