17 Mar 2023
 | 17 Mar 2023
Status: this preprint is open for discussion and under review for Atmospheric Measurement Techniques (AMT).

OLCI A/B tandem phase: Evaluation of FLEX like radiances and estimation of systematic differences between OLCI-A and OLCI-FLEX

Lena Katharina Jänicke, Rene Preusker, Marco Celesti, Marin Tudoroiu, Jürgen Fischer, Dirk Schüttemeyer, and Matthias Drusch

Abstract. During the tandem phase of Sentinel-3A and -3B in summer 2018 the Ocean and Land Color Imager (OLCI) mounted on Sentinel-3B satellite was reprogrammed to mimick ESA’s 8th Earth explorer the Fluorescence explorer (FLEX). OLCI in FLEX configuration (OLCI-FLEX) had 45 spectral bands between 500 nm and 792 nm. The new data set with high resolution measurements (band width: 1.7–3.7 nm) serves as preparation of the FLEX mission. Co-registered measurements of both instruments will be used to describe the atmosphere and the surface. For such combined products, it is essential that both instruments are radiometrically consistent. We developed a transfer function to compare radiance measurements from different optical sensors and to monitor their consistency.

In the presented study, the transfer function shifts information gained from high-resolution "FLEX-mode" settings to information convolved with spectral response of the normal (lower) spectral resolution of the OLCI sensor. The resulting reconstructed low resolution radiance is representative for the high resolution data and it can be compared with the measured low resolution radiance. This difference is used to quantify systematic differences between the instruments. Applying the transfer function, we could show that OLCI-A is about 2 % brighter than OLCI-FLEX for most bands. At the longer wavelengths OLCI-A is about 5 % darker. Sensitivity studies showed that the parameters affecting the quality of the comparison of OLCI-A and OLCI-FLEX with the transfer function are mainly the surface reflectance and secondarily the aerosol composition. However, the aerosol composition can be simplified as long it is treated consistently in all steps in transfer function.

Generally, the transfer function enables direct comparison of instruments with different spectral responses even with different observation geometries or different levels of observation. The method is sensitive to measurement biases and errors resulting from the processing. One application could be the quality control of the FLEX mission.

Lena Katharina Jänicke et al.

Status: open (until 22 Apr 2023)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse

Lena Katharina Jänicke et al.

Lena Katharina Jänicke et al.


Total article views: 76 (including HTML, PDF, and XML)
HTML PDF XML Total BibTeX EndNote
55 17 4 76 3 2
  • HTML: 55
  • PDF: 17
  • XML: 4
  • Total: 76
  • BibTeX: 3
  • EndNote: 2
Views and downloads (calculated since 17 Mar 2023)
Cumulative views and downloads (calculated since 17 Mar 2023)

Viewed (geographical distribution)

Total article views: 75 (including HTML, PDF, and XML) Thereof 75 with geography defined and 0 with unknown origin.
Country # Views %
  • 1
Latest update: 29 Mar 2023
Short summary
In order to compare two top of atmosphere radiances measured by instruments with different spectral characteristics, a transfer function has been developed. It is applied to a tandem data set of Sentinel-3A and B for which OLCI-B mimicked the ESA’s 8th Earth Explorer FLEX. We found that OLCI-A measured about 2 % brighter radiances than OLCI-FLEX. Only at larger wavelength OLCI-A measurements were about 5 % darker. Thus, the method is successful being sensitive to calibration and processing issues.