An improved dark-object subtraction technique for atmospheric scattering correction of multispectral data

Remote Sensing of Environment



  • The Publications Warehouse does not have links to digital versions of this publication at this time
  • Download citation as: RIS


Digital analysis of remotely sensed data has become an important component of many earth-science studies. These data are often processed through a set of preprocessing or "clean-up" routines that includes a correction for atmospheric scattering, often called haze. Various methods to correct or remove the additive haze component have been developed, including the widely used dark-object subtraction technique. A problem with most of these methods is that the haze values for each spectral band are selected independently. This can create problems because atmospheric scattering is highly wavelength-dependent in the visible part of the electromagnetic spectrum and the scattering values are correlated with each other. Therefore, multispectral data such as from the Landsat Thematic Mapper and Multispectral Scanner must be corrected with haze values that are spectral band dependent. An improved dark-object subtraction technique is demonstrated that allows the user to select a relative atmospheric scattering model to predict the haze values for all the spectral bands from a selected starting band haze value. The improved method normalizes the predicted haze values for the different gain and offset parameters used by the imaging system. Examples of haze value differences between the old and improved methods for Thematic Mapper Bands 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 7 are 40.0, 13.0, 12.0, 8.0, 5.0, and 2.0 vs. 40.0, 13.2, 8.9, 4.9, 16.7, and 3.3, respectively, using a relative scattering model of a clear atmosphere. In one Landsat multispectral scanner image the haze value differences for Bands 4, 5, 6, and 7 were 30.0, 50.0, 50.0, and 40.0 for the old method vs. 30.0, 34.4, 43.6, and 6.4 for the new method using a relative scattering model of a hazy atmosphere. ?? 1988.

Additional publication details

Publication type:
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
An improved dark-object subtraction technique for atmospheric scattering correction of multispectral data
Series title:
Remote Sensing of Environment
Year Published:
Larger Work Type:
Larger Work Subtype:
Journal Article
Larger Work Title:
Remote Sensing of Environment
First page:
Last page: