The Moon provides an exo-atmospheric radiance source that can be used to determine trends in instrument radio-metric responsivity with high precision. Lunar observations can also be used for absolute radiometric calibration; knowledge of the radiometric scale will steadily improve through independent study of lunar spectral photometry and with sharing of the Moon as a calibration target by increasing numbers of spacecraft, each with its own calibration history. EO-1 calibration includes periodic observation of the Moon by all three of its instruments. Observations are normally made with a phase angle of about 7 degrees (or about 12 hours from the time of Full Moon). Also, SeaWiFS has been making observations at such phase angles for several years, and observations of the Moon by instrument pairs, even if at different times, can be used to transfer absolute calibration. A challenge for EO-1 is pointing to include the entire full Moon in the narrow Hyperion scan. Three Hyperion observations in early 2001 covering an order-of-magnitude difference in lunar irradiance show good agreement for responsivity; the SWIR detector has undergone some changes in responsivity. Small discrepancies of calibration with wavelength could be smoothed using the Moon as a source. Off-axis scattered light response and cross-track response variations can be assessed using the lunar image.
Additional Publication Details
Initial lunar calibration observations by the EO-1 Hyperion imaging spectrometer