Radiometric stability of the multi-angle imaging spectroradiometer (MISR) following 15 years on-orbit

Carol J. Bruegge, Sebastian Val, David J. Diner, Veljko Jovanovic, Ellyn Gray, Larry Di Girolamo, Guangyu Zhao

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


The Multi-angle Imaging SpectroRadiometer (MISR) has successfully operated on the EOS/ Terra spacecraft since 1999. It consists of nine cameras pointing from nadir to 70.5° view angle with four spectral channels per camera. Specifications call for a radiometric uncertainty of 3% absolute and 1% relative to the other cameras. To accomplish this, MISR utilizes an on-board calibrator (OBC) to measure camera response changes. Once every two months the two Spectralon panels are deployed to direct solar-light into the cameras. Six photodiode sets measure the illumination level that are compared to MISR raw digital numbers, thus determining the radiometric gain coefficients used in Level 1 data processing. Although panel stability is not required, there has been little detectable change in panel reflectance, attributed to careful preflight handling techniques. The cameras themselves have degraded in radiometric response by 10% since launch, but calibration updates using the detector-based scheme has compensated for these drifts and allowed the radiance products to meet accuracy requirements. Validation using Sahara desert observations show that there has been a drift of 1% in the reported nadir-view radiance over a decade, common to all spectral bands.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationEarth Observing Systems XIX
EditorsXiaoxiong Xiong, Xingfa Gu, James J. Butler
ISBN (Electronic)9781628412451
StatePublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes
EventEarth Observing Systems XIX - San Diego, United States
Duration: Aug 18 2014Aug 20 2014

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
ISSN (Print)0277-786X
ISSN (Electronic)1996-756X


OtherEarth Observing Systems XIX
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Diego


  • MISR
  • On-board calibrator
  • Sahara desert PIC
  • Spectralon
  • Vicarious calibration

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'Radiometric stability of the multi-angle imaging spectroradiometer (MISR) following 15 years on-orbit'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this