Long-term monitoring of surface reflectance, NDVI and clouds from space: What contribution we can expect due to effect of instrument spectral response variations?

Alexander P. Trishchenko, Josef Cihlar, Zhanqing Li, Byongjun Hwang

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Since the satellites provide frequent and global observations of atmospheric and terrestrial environment, attempts have been made to use satellite data for long-term monitoring of land reflectances, vegetation indices and clouds properties. Although the construction and characteristics of spaceborne instruments may be quite similar, they are not identical among all missions, even for the same type of instrument like AVHRR. Consequently, the effect of varying spectral response may create an artificial noise imposed upon a subtle natural variability. We report the results of a study on the sensitivity of Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI), surface and cloud reflectance to differences in instrument spectral response functions (SRF) for various satellite sensors. They include AVHRR radiometers onboard NOAA satellites NOAA-6 - NOAA-16, the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS), the VEGETATION sensor (VGT) and the Global Imager (GLI). We also analyzed the SRF effects for several geostationary satellites used for cloud studies, such as GOES-8- 12, METEOSAT-2- 7, GMS -1 -5. The results obtained here demonstrate that the effect of instrument spectral response function cannot be ignored in long-term monitoring studies that employ space observations from different sensors. The SRF effect introduces differences in observed reflectances and retrieved quantities that may be comparable or exceed the range of natural variability and possible systematic trends, the contribution from the calibration, atmospheric and other corrections. Some modeling results were validated against real satellite observations with good agreement.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAtmospheric Radiation Measurements and Applications in Climate
EditorsJoseph A. Shaw
Number of pages12
ISBN (Print)9780819445834, 0819445835
Publication statusPublished - 5 Sep 2002
Externally publishedYes
EventInternational Symposium on Optical Science and Technology - Seattle, United States
Duration: 7 Jul 200211 Jul 2002
Conference number: 3

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
ISSN (Print)0277-786X
ISSN (Electronic)1996-756X


ConferenceInternational Symposium on Optical Science and Technology
Country/TerritoryUnited States


Dive into the research topics of 'Long-term monitoring of surface reflectance, NDVI and clouds from space: What contribution we can expect due to effect of instrument spectral response variations?'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this