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System Vicarious Calibration requirements for satellite ocean colour missions targeting climate and global long-term operational applications



B. Carol Johnson, Giuseppe Zibordi, Ewa Kwiatkowska, Kenneth Voss, Frederic Melin, David Antoine, Menghua Wang, Shuguo Chen, Constant Mazeran, Brian Barnes, Jee-Eun Min


System Vicarious Calibration (SVC) is the technique that maximizes the accuracy of satellite ocean colour data products by minimizing the impact of inaccuracies affecting the absolute radiometric calibration of the space sensor and the atmospheric correction process. Even if a perfect atmospheric correction was available, the SVC would still be needed due to the limitations in sensor calibration, therefore the SVC is a requirement for all ocean colour missions. Diverse SVC procedures have been implemented targeting different applications such as regional investigations, individual mission explicit objectives and, finally, the most demanding climate and operational applications requiring low uncertainties and high consistency across global multi-mission time series. This White Paper benefits from recent publications and the outcome from a dedicated workshop held at the School of Marine Sciences in St. Petersburg (FL) as an initiative of the Ocean Colour SVC Task Force of the International Ocean Colour Coordinating Group (IOCCG). The White Paper outlines essential requirements for a comprehensive ocean colour SVC framework with a focus on supporting the climate and global operational applications and ensuring the highest accuracy and consistency of global and multi-decadal ocean colour data products. The White Paper key recommendations affirm the essential need to ensure long-term support to SVC infrastructures and activities, and to address remaining open issues on SVC principles, requirements and methods.
International Ocean Colour Coordinating Group


Ocean Color, System Vicarious Calibration, Climate Data Records


Johnson, B. , Zibordi, G. , Kwiatkowska, E. , Voss, K. , Melin, F. , Antoine, D. , Wang, M. , Chen, S. , Mazeran, C. , Barnes, B. and Min, J. (2024), System Vicarious Calibration requirements for satellite ocean colour missions targeting climate and global long-term operational applications, International Ocean Colour Coordinating Group, [online],, (Accessed July 12, 2024)


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Created June 24, 2024