The current generation of Earth-imaging satellites is used primarily to produce photographic quality images that are corrected for inherent non-uniformity in the focal plane (flat-fielding) and non-linearity in the sensor. The next generation of satellites requires the extraction of target reflectance with 1-2% uncertainty from these images. This requires the payload to be radiometrically calibrated to 1% uncertainty, or less. In order to achieve these levels of uncertainty, a radiometric standard is needed that is accessible from low Earth-orbit. Unfortunately, there is no such standard currently available. One common approach is to utilize man-made source standards that have calibration traceable to NIST (or other primary standards). Another method is to use detector-based standards (also traceable to NIST) and available uncalibrated sources. Unfortunately, these approaches suffer from degradation during exposure to the low Earth- orbit, which causes an unknown departure from the calibrated state (and increases the radiometric uncertainty of the standard).

Publication Date



Prepared for Eastman Kodak Company, Commercial and Government SystemsNote: imported from RIT’s Digital Media Library running on DSpace to RIT Scholar Works in February 2014.

Document Type

Technical Report

Department, Program, or Center

Chester F. Carlson Center for Imaging Science (COS)


RIT – Main Campus