Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Standards for Monitoring the Temperature of Earth From Space



Joseph P. Rice


The National Aeronautical and Spece Administration (NASA), the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the Department of Defense (DOD), the Department of Energy (DOE), and other Government agencies have projects in which space-flight instruments monitor the temperatue and related meteorological quantities of Earth through radiance measurements. The NIST Optical Technology Division has several programs with these agencies to maintain and improve their radiometric measurement standards. Uncertainties in the range of 0.01 K to 0.5 K are typically sought. One overall goal common to many of these calibration programs is to experimentally inter-compare and verify the radiometric scales in use throughout the aerospace industry and the meteorological remote sensing scientific and defense communities.This presentation concentrates on one particular part of the overall program that relates most closely to non-contact thermometry. This is the example of scale verifications in the so-called thermal-infrared wavelength range, loosely defined as between 2 micro}m and 20 micro}m. This is the relevant range of interest for remote sensing of the thermally emitted radiation from objects (such as the Earth) that have an effective radiation temperature in the range from roughly 200 K to 350 K. The example discussed is that of a portable transfer radiometer developed at NIST known as the Thermal-infrared Transfer Radiometer (TXR).
Standards for Monitoring the Temperature of Earth From Space


Earth, non-contact thermometry, portable transfer radiometer, radiance measurements, Thermal-infrared Transfer Radiometer, thermal-infrared wavelength, TXR


Rice, J. (2008), Standards for Monitoring the Temperature of Earth From Space, Standards for Monitoring the Temperature of Earth From Space (Accessed June 23, 2024)


If you have any questions about this publication or are having problems accessing it, please contact

Created October 16, 2008