A new automated observatory dedicated to the radiometry of the moon has been constructed to provide new radiance information for calibration of earth-orbiting imaging instruments, particularly Earth Observing System instruments. Instrumentation includes an imaging photometer with 4.5-in. resolution on a fully digital mount and a full-aperture radiance calibration source. Interference filters within 0.35-0.95 ??m correspond to standard stellar magnitude systems, accommodate wavelengths of lunar spectral contrast, and approximate some band-passes of planned earth-orbiting instruments (ASTER, Landsat-7 ETM, MISR, MODIS, and SeaWIFS). The same equipment is used for lunar and stellar observations, with the use of an aperture stop in lunar imaging to comply with Nyquist's theorem and lengthen exposure times to avoid scintillation effects. A typical robotic night run involves observation of about 60 photometric standard stars and the moon; about 10 of the standard stars are observed repeatedly to determine atmospheric extinction, and the moon is observed several times. Observations are to be made on every photometric night during the bright half of the month for at least 4.5 years to adequately cover phase and libration variation. Each lunar image is reduced to absolute exoatmospheric radiance and reprojected to a fixed selenographic grid system. The collection of these images at various librations and phase angles will be reduced to photometric models for each of the approximately 120 000 points in the lunar grid for each filter. Radiance models of the moon can then be produced for the precise geometry of an orbiting instrument observation. Expected errors are under 1% relative and 2.5% absolute. A second telescope operating from 1.0 to 2.5 ??m is planned.
Additional publication details
Establishing the moon as a spectral radiance standard