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Terra and Aqua MODIS Thermal Emissive Bands On-Orbit Calibration and PerformanceSince launch, the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) instruments on the Terra and Aqua spacecraft have operated successfully for more than 14 and 12 years, respectively. A key instrument for National Aeronautics and Space Administration Earth Observing System missions, MODIS was designed to make continuous observations for studies of Earth's land, ocean, and atmospheric properties and to extend existing data records from heritage Earth observing sensors. The 16 thermal emissive bands (TEBs) (3.75-14.24 micrometers) are calibrated on orbit using a temperature controlled blackbody (BB). Both Terra and Aqua MODIS BBs have displayed minimal drift over the mission lifetime, and the seasonal variations of the BB temperature are extremely small in Aqua MODIS. The long-term gain and noise equivalent difference in temperature performance of the 160 TEB detectors on both MODIS instruments have been well behaved and generally very stable. Small but noticeable variations of Aqua MODIS bands 33-36 (13.34-14.24 micrometer) response in recent years are primarily due to loss of temperature control margin of its passive cryoradiative cooler. As a result, fixed calibration coefficients, previously used by bands when the BB temperature is above their saturation temperatures, are replaced by the focal-plane-temperature-dependent calibration coefficients. This paper presents an overview of the MODIS TEB calibration, the on-orbit performance, and the challenging issues likely to impact the instruments as they continue operating well past their designed lifetime of six years.
Document ID
Acquisition Source
Goddard Space Flight Center
Document Type
Reprint (Version printed in journal)
Xiong, Xiaoxiong
(NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Greenbelt, MD United States)
Wu, Aisheng
(Science Systems and Applications, Inc. Lanham, MD, United States)
Wenny, Brian N.
(Science Systems and Applications, Inc. Lanham, MD, United States)
Madhavan, Sriharsha
(Science Systems and Applications, Inc. Lanham, MD, United States)
Wang, Zhipeng
(Science Systems and Applications, Inc. Lanham, MD, United States)
Li, Yonghong
(Science Systems and Applications, Inc. Lanham, MD, United States)
Chen, Na
(Science Systems and Applications, Inc. Lanham, MD, United States)
Barnes, William L.
(Maryland Univ. Baltimore County Baltimore, MD, United States)
Salomonson, Vincent V.
(Utah Univ. Salt Lake City, UT, United States)
Date Acquired
May 4, 2016
Publication Date
May 18, 2015
Publication Information
Publication: IEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing
Publisher: IEEE
Volume: 53
Issue: 10
e-ISSN: 1558-0644
Subject Category
Earth Resources And Remote Sensing
Meteorology And Climatology
Report/Patent Number
Funding Number(s)
Distribution Limits
Monderate Resolution Imaging

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