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Assessment of Terra MODIS On-Orbit Polarization Sensitivity Using Pseudoinvariant Desert SitesThe Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) is currently flying on NASA's Earth Observing System Terra and Aqua satellites, launched in 1999 and 2002, respectively. MODIS reflective solar bands in the visible wavelength range are known to be sensitive to polarized light based on prelaunch polarization sensitivity tests. After about five years of on-orbit operations, it was discovered that the polarization sensitivity at short wavelengths had shown a noticeable increase. In this paper, we examine the impact of polarization on measured top-of-atmosphere (TOA) reflectance based on MODIS Collection-6 L1B over pseudo invariant desert sites. The standard polarization correction equation is used in combination with simulated at-sensor radiances using the second simulation of a satellite signal in the Solar Spectrum, Vector Radiative Transfer Code (6SV). We ignore the polarization contribution from the surface and a ratio approach is used for both 6SV-derived in put parameters and observed TOA reflectance. Results indicate that significant gain corrections up to 25% are required near the end of scan for the 412 and 443 nm bands. The polarization correction reduces the seasonal fluctuations in reflectance trends and mirror side ratios from 30% and 12% to 10% and 5%, respectively, for the two bands. Comparison of the effectiveness of the polarization correction with the results from the NASA Ocean Biology Processing Group shows a good agreement in the corrected reflectance trending results and their seasonal fluctuations.
Document ID
Document Type
Reprint (Version printed in journal)
Wu, Aisheng
(Science Systems and Applications, Inc. Lanham, MD, United States)
Geng, Xu
(Science Systems and Applications, Inc. Lanham, MD, United States)
Wald, Andrew
(Global Science and Technology, Inc. Greenbelt, MD, United States)
Angal, Amit
(Science Systems and Applications, Inc. Lanham, MD, United States)
Xiong, Xiaoxiong
(NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Greenbelt, MD United States)
Date Acquired
September 5, 2017
Publication Date
April 19, 2017
Publication Information
Publication: IEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing
Publisher: IEEE
Volume: 55
Issue: 7
ISSN: 0196-2892
Subject Category
Earth Resources And Remote Sensing
Report/Patent Number
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