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Response Versus Scan-Angle Assessment of MODIS Reflective Solar Bands in...

Bhatt, R., D. R. Doelling, A. Angal, X. Xiong, C. Haney, B. Scarino, A. Wu, and A. Gopalan (2020), Response Versus Scan-Angle Assessment of MODIS Reflective Solar Bands in Collection 6.1 Calibration, IEEE Trans. Geosci. Remote Sens., 1-14, doi:10.1109/TGRS.2019.2946963.

The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) instruments onboard the Aqua and Terra satellites have been operated for nearly two decades, producing high-quality earth observation data sets suitable for a broad range of scientific studies regarding the earth’s land, ocean, and atmospheric processes. The high radiometric accuracy of MODIS reflective solar band (RSB) calibration has also served as benchmark measurements for on-orbit cross-calibration studies. As the two MODIS instruments have operated well beyond their design lifespan of six years, the measurements from the onboard calibrators alone become inadequate to characterize the sensor’s response at all scan angles, as evinced by long-term drifts observed at certain scan positions of the Aqua-MODIS 0.64- and 0.86-µm bands in Collection 6 (C6) data set. The latest MODIS Level 1B C6.1 data set incorporates earth-view response trending from invariant desert sites as supplemental inputs to characterize the scan-angle calibration dependencies for all RSB. This article presents a deep convective cloud (DCC)-based calibration approach for an independent evaluation of the MODIS RSB response versus scan-angle (RVS) performance in C6.1. The long-term calibration stability and RVS differences in C6.1 have been significantly improved for Aqua-MODIS RSB. The observed RVS differences of more than 2% in Aqua-MODIS C6 bands 1 and 2 have been reduced to within 1% in C6.1. Some RSBs of Terra-MODIS have suffered temporal drifts up to ∼2% and calibration shifts up to 3%, particularly around 2016 when the Terra satellite entered into safe mode. The DCC approach has been found very effective in tracking the on-orbit RVS changes over time.

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