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23 September 2013 S-NPP VIIRS thermal band spectral radiance performance through 18 months of operation on-orbit
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The Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership (S-NPP) satellite, carrying the first Visible Infrared Imager Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) was successfully launched on October 28, 2011 with first light on November 21, 2011. The passive cryo-radiator cooler doors were opened on January 18, 2012 allowing the cold focal planes (S/MWIR and LWIR) to cool to the nominal operating temperature of 80K. After an early on-orbit functional checkout period, an intensive Cal/Val (ICV) phase has been underway. During the ICV, the VIIRS SDR performance for thermal emissive bands (TEB) has been under evaluation using on-orbit comparisons between VIIRS and the CrIS instrument on S-NPP, as well as VIIRS and the IASI instrument on MetOp-A. CrIS has spectral coverage of VIIRS bands M13, M15, M16, and I5 while IASI covers all VIIRS TEB. These comparisons largely verify that VIIRS TEB SDR are performing within or nearly within pre-launch requirements across the full dynamic range of these VIIRS bands, with the possible exception of warm scenes (<280 K) in band M12 as suggested by VIIRS-IASI comparisons. The comparisons with CrIS also indicate that the VIIRS Half Angle Mirror (HAM) reflectance versus scan (RVS) is well-characterized by virtue that the VIIRS-CrIS differences show little or no dependence on scan angle. The VIIRS-IASI and VIIRS-CrIS findings closely agree for bands M13, M15, and M16 for warm scenes but small offsets exist at cold scenes for M15, M16, and particularly M13. IASI comparisons also show that spectral out-of-band influence on the VIIRS SDR is <0.05 K for all bands across the full dynamic range with the exception of very cold scenes in Band M13 where the OOB influence reaches 0.10 K. TEB performance, outside of small adjustments to the SDR algorithm and supporting look-up tables, has been very stable through 18 months on-orbit. Preliminary analysis from an S-NPP underflight using a NASA ER-2 aircraft with the SHIS instrument (NIST-traceable source) confirms TEB SDR accuracy as compliant for a typical warm earth scene (285-290 K).
© (2013) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Chris Moeller, Dave Tobin, and Greg Quinn "S-NPP VIIRS thermal band spectral radiance performance through 18 months of operation on-orbit", Proc. SPIE 8866, Earth Observing Systems XVIII, 88661N (23 September 2013);


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