The U.S. Geological Survey‘s (USGS) Earth Resources Observation Systems (EROS) Data Center (EDC) in cooperation with several international science organizations has developed techniques for processing daily Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) 1-km data of the entire global land surface. These techniques include orbital stitching, geometric rectification, radiometric calibration, and atmospheric correction.
An orbital stitching algorithm was developed to combine consecutive observations acquired along an orbit by ground receiving stations into contiguous half-orbital segments.
The geometric rectification process uses an AVHRR satellite model that contains modules for forward mapping, forward terrain correction, and inverse mapping with terrain correction. The correction is accomplished by using the hydrologic features coastlines and lakes from the Digital Chart of the World. These features are rasterized into the satellite projection and are matched to the AVHRR imagery using binary edge correlation techniques. The resulting coefficients are related to six attitude correction parameters: roll, roll rate, pitch, pitch rate, yaw, and altitude. The image can then be precision corrected to a variety of map projections and user-selected image frames.
Because the AVHRR lacks onboard calibration for the optical wavelengths, a series of time-variant calibration coefficients derived from vicarious calibration methods and are used to model the degradation profile of the instruments.
Reducing atmospheric effects on AVHRR data is important. A method has been develop that will remove the effects of molecular scattering and absorption from clear sky observations, using climatological measurements of ozone. Other methods to remove the effects of water vapor and aerosols are being investigated.