An independent assessment of the Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) instrument geometry was undertaken by the U.S. ASTER Team, to confirm the geometric correction parameters developed and applied to Level 1A (radiometrically and geometrically raw with correction parameters appended) ASTER data. The goal was to evaluate the geometric quality of the ASTER system and the stability of the Terra spacecraft. ASTER is a 15-band system containing optical instruments with resolutions from 15- to 90-meters; all geometrically registered products are ultimately tied to the 15-meter Visible and Near Infrared (VNIR) sub-system. Our evaluation process first involved establishing a large database of Ground Control Points (GCP) in the mid-western United States; an area with features of an appropriate size for spacecraft instrument resolutions. We used standard U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Digital Orthophoto Quads (DOQS) of areas in the mid-west to locate accurate GCPs by systematically identifying road intersections and recording their coordinates. Elevations for these points were derived from USGS Digital Elevation Models (DEMS). Road intersections in a swath of nine contiguous ASTER scenes were then matched to the GCPs, including terrain correction. We found no significant distortion in the images; after a simple image offset to absolute position, the RMS residual of about 200 points per scene was less than one-half a VNIR pixel. Absolute locations were within 80 meters, with a slow drift of about 10 meters over the entire 530-kilometer swath. Using strictly simultaneous observations of scenes 370 kilometers apart, we determined a stereo angle correction of 0.00134 degree with an accuracy of one microradian. The mid-west GCP field and the techniques used here should be widely applicable in assessing other spacecraft instruments having resolutions from 5 to 50-meters. ?? 2008 American Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing.
Additional publication details
Validation of the ASTER instrument level 1A scene geometry