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15 October 2012 VIIRS VisNIR/SMWIR end of life sensitivity predictions
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The Visible/Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) is a key sensor on the Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership (NPP) satellite launched on October 28, 2011 into a polar orbit of 824 km nominal altitude. VIIRS collects radiometric and imagery data of the Earth’s atmosphere, oceans, and land surfaces in 22 spectral bands spanning the visible and infrared spectrum from 0.4 to 12.5 μm. The radiometric response for VIIRS spectral bands in the 600 – 2300 nm wavelength range (I1, M5, M6, M7 / I2, M8, M9, M10 / I3, M11), which started with significant signal to noise ratio margin at beginning of life, has shown some degradation on orbit. This degradation has been correlated with UV exposure of the VIIRS optics. UV exposure of witness samples from the Rotating Telescope Assembly (RTA) mirrors by Aerospace Corporation showed reflectance loss with the same spectral signature as the response degradation observed for VIIRS. The investigation and root cause determination for the VIIRS response degradation are discussed in separate papers. A model of VIIRS throughput degradation has been developed from witness sample UV exposure test results made by Aerospace. A direct relationship is assumed between UV dose (fluence) and the reflectance degradation of the RTA mirrors. The UV dose on orbit for the primary mirror is proportional to the incident earthshine and its solid angle of view. For subsequent mirrors the UV dose is weighted by solid angle and preceding mirror UV reflectance. UV dose is converted to reflectance change based on witness sample exposure measurements. The change in VIIRS throughput is calculated by multiplying the reflectance of the four RTA mirrors and agrees with the on-orbit measured response changes as a function of UV exposure time. Model predictions of the radiometric sensitivity for the affected VIIRS bands show positive margin at end of life for all affected bands.
© (2012) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Vijay Murgai, Neil Nelson, Eric Johnson, and Karen Yokoyama "VIIRS VisNIR/SMWIR end of life sensitivity predictions", Proc. SPIE 8510, Earth Observing Systems XVII, 85101L (15 October 2012);

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