Rayleigh radiance computations for satellite remote sensing: accounting for the effect of sensor spectral response function.

Abstract

To understand and assess the effect of the sensor spectral response function (SRF) on the accuracy of the top of the atmosphere (TOA) Rayleigh-scattering radiance computation, new TOA Rayleigh radiance lookup tables (LUTs) over global oceans and inland waters have been generated. The new Rayleigh LUTs include spectral coverage of 335-2555 nm, all possible solar-sensor geometries, and surface wind speeds of 0-30 m/s. Using the new Rayleigh LUTs, the sensor SRF effect on the accuracy of the TOA Rayleigh radiance computation has been evaluated for spectral bands of the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) on the Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership (SNPP) satellite and the Joint Polar Satellite System (JPSS)-1, showing some important uncertainties for VIIRS-SNPP particularly for large solar- and/or sensor-zenith angles as well as for large Rayleigh optical thicknesses (i.e., short wavelengths) and bands with broad spectral bandwidths. To accurately account for the sensor SRF effect, a new correction algorithm has been developed for VIIRS spectral bands, which improves the TOA Rayleigh radiance accuracy to ~0.01% even for the large solar-zenith angles of 70°-80°, compared with the error of ~0.7% without applying the correction for the VIIRS-SNPP 410 nm band. The same methodology that accounts for the sensor SRF effect on the Rayleigh radiance computation can be used for other satellite sensors. In addition, with the new Rayleigh LUTs, the effect of surface atmospheric pressure variation on the TOA Rayleigh radiance computation can be calculated precisely, and no specific atmospheric pressure correction algorithm is needed. There are some other important applications and advantages to using the new Rayleigh LUTs for satellite remote sensing, including an efficient and accurate TOA Rayleigh radiance computation for hyperspectral satellite remote sensing, detector-based TOA Rayleigh radiance computation, Rayleigh radiance calculations for high altitude lakes, and the same Rayleigh LUTs are applicable for all satellite sensors over the global ocean and inland waters. The new Rayleigh LUTs have been implemented in the VIIRS-SNPP ocean color data processing for routine production of global ocean color and inland water products.

DOI: 10.1364/OE.24.012414

Cite this paper

@article{Wang2016RayleighRC, title={Rayleigh radiance computations for satellite remote sensing: accounting for the effect of sensor spectral response function.}, author={Menghua Wang}, journal={Optics express}, year={2016}, volume={24 11}, pages={12414-29} }