Landsat 8 thermal infrared sensor geometric characterization and calibration

Remote Sensing
By: , and 



The Landsat 8 spacecraft was launched on 11 February 2013 carrying two imaging payloads: the Operational Land Imager (OLI) and the Thermal Infrared Sensor (TIRS). The TIRS instrument employs a refractive telescope design that is opaque to visible wavelengths making prelaunch geometric characterization challenging. TIRS geometric calibration thus relied heavily on on-orbit measurements. Since the two Landsat 8 payloads are complementary and generate combined Level 1 data products, the TIRS geometric performance requirements emphasize the co-alignment of the OLI and TIRS instrument fields of view and the registration of the OLI reflective bands to the TIRS long-wave infrared emissive bands. The TIRS on-orbit calibration procedures include measuring the TIRS-to-OLI alignment, refining the alignment of the three TIRS sensor chips, and ensuring the alignment of the two TIRS spectral bands. The two key TIRS performance metrics are the OLI reflective to TIRS emissive band registration accuracy, and the registration accuracy between the TIRS thermal bands. The on-orbit calibration campaign conducted during the commissioning period provided an accurate TIRS geometric model that enabled TIRS Level 1 data to meet all geometric accuracy requirements. Seasonal variations in TIRS-to-OLI alignment have led to several small calibration parameter adjustments since commissioning.

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Landsat 8 thermal infrared sensor geometric characterization and calibration
Series title Remote Sensing
DOI 10.3390/rs61111153
Volume 6
Issue 11
Year Published 2014
Language English
Publisher MDPI
Contributing office(s) Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) Center
Description 29 p.
First page 11153
Last page 11181
Online Only (Y/N) N
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N