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3 October 2011 Designing an in-flight airborne calibration site using experience from vicarious radiometric satellite calibration
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Laboratory calibration of electro-optical sensors is preferably complemented by regular in-flight verification. This checks whether the lab calibration parameters remain valid or recalibration is necessary. In-flight verification can be achieved by vicarious calibration using in-flight measurements of calibration targets. We intend to identify and design a set of suitable radiometric calibration targets. For this, we borrow from expertise gained with the PROBA-V satellite calibration system, which uses multiple vicarious methods relying on diverse natural on-ground targets. Besides reflectance based calibration using ground measurements, the PROBA-V calibration methods are unproven for use in airborne calibration. The selected targets should be suitable for the calibration of both multispectral and hyperspectral imagers. We start from general requirements for radiometric targets and investigate their applicability to airborne calibration. From this we identify two possible sets of natural calibration sites in Belgium. One set, located in the Campine region, contains small water bodies and sandy lakesides. Another set is located in the Westhoek region near the Belgian coast. It offers better suitable water bodies, as well as sandy areas, grass fields and dark targets. Airborne calibration lends itself to the use of smaller artifical targets. We propose to complement the natural targets with a portable target consisting of agricultural nets with different densities. The definition of sets of calibration targets, both natural and artificial can facilitate the investigation of the usability of vicarious targets and method for inflight radiometric verification.
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Stefan Livens, Walter Debruyn, Sindy Sterckx, and Ils Reusen "Designing an in-flight airborne calibration site using experience from vicarious radiometric satellite calibration", Proc. SPIE 8176, Sensors, Systems, and Next-Generation Satellites XV, 81760U (3 October 2011);

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