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Overview of the Radiometric Calibration of MOBY



D K. Clark, M Feinholz, M Yarbrough, B. Carol Johnson, Steven W. Brown, Y S. Kim, R Barnes


The Marine Optical Buoy (MOBY) provides values of water-leaving radiance for the calibration and validation of satellite ocean color instruments. Located in clear, deep ocean waters near the Hawaiian Island of Lanai, MOBY measures the upwelling radiance and downwelling irradiance at three levels below the ocean surface plus the incident solar irradiance just above the surface. The radiance standards for MOBY are two integrating spheres with calibrations based on standards traceable to the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). For irradiance, the MOBY project uses standard lamps that are routinely recalibrated at NIST. Wavelength calibrations are conducted with a series of emission lines observed from a set of low pressure lamps. Each MOBY instrument views these standards before and after its deployment to provide system responses (calibration coefficients). During each deployment, the stability of the MOBY spectrographs and internal optics are monitored using three internal reference sources. In addition, the collection optics for the instrument are cleaned and checked on a monthly basis while the buoy is deployed. Divers place lamps over the optics before and after each cleaning to monitor changes at the system level. As a hyperspectral instrument, MOBY uses absorption lines in the solar spectrum to monitor its wavelength stability. When logically feasible during each deployment, coincident measurements are made with the predecessor buoy before that buoy s recovery. Measurements of the underwater light fields from the deployment vessel are also compared with those from the buoy. Based on this set of absolute calibrations and the suite of stability reference measurements, a calibration history is created for each buoy. These calibration histories link the measurement time series from the set of MOBY buoys. In general, the differences between the pre- and post-deployment radiance calibrations of the buoys range from +1 % to 6 % with a definitive bias to a negative difference for the post-deployment values. This trend is to be expected after a deployment of 3 months. To date, only the pre-deployment calibration measurements have been used to adjust the system responses for the MOBY time series. Based on these results, the estimated radiometric uncertainty for MOBY in-water ocean color measurements is estimated to be about 4 % to 8 % (k = 1). As part of collaboration with NIST, annual radiometric comparisons are made at the MOBY calibration facility. NIST personnel use transfer radiometers and integrating spheres to validate (verify) the accuracy of the MOBY calibration sources. Recently, we began a study of the stray light contribution to the radiometric uncertainty in the MOBY systems. A complete reprocessing of the MOBY data set, including the changes within each MOBY deployment, will commence upon the completion of the stray light characterization, which is scheduled for the fall of 2001. It is anticipated that this reprocessing will reduce the overall radiometric uncertainty to less than 5 % (k = 1).
Proceedings Title
Earth Observing Systems, Conference | 6th | Earth Observing Systems VI | SPIE
Conference Dates
July 30-August 3, 2001
Conference Location
Conference Title
Proceedings of SPIE--the International Society for Optical Engineering


calibration, MOBY, ocean color, spectral radiometry


Clark, D. , Feinholz, M. , Yarbrough, M. , Johnson, B. , Brown, S. , Kim, Y. and Barnes, R. (2002), Overview of the Radiometric Calibration of MOBY, Earth Observing Systems, Conference | 6th | Earth Observing Systems VI | SPIE, Undefined (Accessed April 23, 2024)
Created December 31, 2001, Updated October 12, 2021