A system to provide radiometric calibration of remote sensing imaging instruments on-orbit using the Moon has been developed by the US Geological Survey RObotic Lunar Observatory (ROLO) project. ROLO has developed a model for lunar irradiance which treats the primary geometric variables of phase and libration explicitly. The model fits hundreds of data points in each of 23 VNIR and 9 SWIR bands; input data are derived from lunar radiance images acquired by the project's on-site telescopes, calibrated to exoatmospheric radiance and converted to disk-equivalent reflectance. Experimental uncertainties are tracked through all stages of the data processing and modeling. Model fit residuals are ???1% in each band over the full range of observed phase and libration angles. Application of ROLO lunar calibration to SeaWiFS has demonstrated the capability for long-term instrument response trending with precision approaching 0.1% per year. Current work involves assessing the error in absolute responsivity and relative spectral response of the ROLO imaging systems, and propagation of error through the data reduction and modeling software systems with the goal of reducing the uncertainty in the absolute scale, now estimated at 5-10%. This level is similar to the scatter seen in ROLO lunar irradiance comparisons of multiple spacecraft instruments that have viewed the Moon. A field calibration campaign involving NASA and NIST has been initiated that ties the ROLO lunar measurements to the NIST (SI) radiometric scale.
Additional Publication Details
Assessment of uncertainty in ROLO lunar irradiance for on-orbit calibration