Field intercomparison of radiometers used for satellite validation in the 400 - 900 nm range.

Astrid.Bracher [ at ]


An intercomparison of radiance and irradiance ocean color radiometers (the second laboratory comparison exercise—LCE-2) was organized within the frame of the European Space Agency funded project Fiducial Reference Measurements for Satellite Ocean Color (FRM4SOC) May 8–13, 2017 at Tartu Observatory, Estonia. LCE-2 consisted of three sub-tasks: (1) SI-traceable radiometric calibration of all the participating radiance and irradiance radiometers at the Tartu Observatory just before the comparisons; (2) indoor, laboratory intercomparison using stable radiance and irradiance sources in a controlled environment; (3) outdoor, field intercomparison of natural radiation sources over a natural water surface. The aim of the experiment was to provide a link in the chain of traceability from field measurements of water reflectance to the uniform SI-traceable calibration, and after calibration to verify whether di�erent instruments measuring the same object provide results consistent within the expected uncertainty limits. This paper describes the third phase of LCE-2: The results of the field experiment. The calibration of radiometers and laboratory comparison experiment are presented in a related paper of the same journal issue. Compared to the laboratory comparison, the field intercomparison has demonstrated substantially larger variability between freshly calibrated sensors, because the targets and environmental conditions during radiometric calibration were di�erent, both spectrally and spatially. Major di�erences were found for radiance sensors measuring a sunlit water target at viewing zenith angle of 139� because of the di�erent fields of view. Major di�erences were found for irradiance sensors because of imperfect cosine response of di�users. Variability between individual radiometers did depend significantly also on the type of the sensor and on the specific measurement target. Uniform SI traceable radiometric calibration ensuring fairly good consistency for indoor, laboratory measurements is insu�cient for outdoor, field measurements, mainly due to the di�erent angular variability of illumination. More stringent specifications and individual testing of radiometers for all relevant systematic e�ects (temperature, nonlinearity, spectral stray light, etc.) are needed to reduce biases between instruments and better quantify measurement uncertainties.

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Primary Division
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Research Networks
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ISI/Scopus peer-reviewed
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Eprint ID
DOI 10.3390/rs11091129

Cite as
Vabson, V. , Kuusk, J. , Ansko, I. , Vendt, R. , Alikas, K. , Ruddick, K. , Ansper, A. , Bresciani, M. , Burmester, H. , Costa, M. , D'Alimonte, D. , Dall'Olmo, G. , Damiri, B. , Dinter, T. , Giardino, C. , Kangro, K. , Ligi, M. , Paavel, B. , Tilstone, G. , Van Dommelen, R. , Wiegmann, S. , Bracher, A. , Donlon, C. and Casal, T. (2019): Field intercomparison of radiometers used for satellite validation in the 400 - 900 nm range. , Remote Sensing, 11 (1129), pp. 1-22 . doi: 10.3390/rs11091129


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