Solar Irradiance and Effective Brightness Temperature for SWIR Channels of AVHRR/NOAA and GOES Imagers

Alexander P. Trishchenko Canada Centre for Remote Sensing, Earth Sciences Sector, Natural Resources Canada, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

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Abstract

Satellite observations in the shortwave infrared (SWIR) part of spectrum between 3.5 and 4.0 μm deliver critically important information for many applications. The satellite signal in this spectral band consists of solar-reflected radiation and thermal radiation emitted by surface, clouds, and atmosphere. Accurate retrievals require precise knowledge of solar irradiance values within a channel's bandwidth. The magnitudes of solar irradiance for shortwave infrared channels (3.7–3.9 μm) for the Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) on board the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration-7 (NOAA-7) to NOAA-18 satellites and the Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite-8 (GOES-8) to GOES-12 are considered in this paper. Four recent solar reference spectra [those of Kurucz, Gueymard, the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM), and Wehrli] are analyzed to determine uncertainties in the knowledge of solar irradiance values for SWIR channels of the listed sensors. Because thermal radiation is frequently converted to effective blackbody temperature for analysis, computations, and calibration purposes, it is proposed here to express band-limited solar irradiance values in terms of brightness temperature as well. It is shown that band-limited solar irradiance for AVHRR radiometers expressed in terms of blackbody equivalent brightness temperature correspond to the range 355–360 K, and vary around 345 K for the SWIR channels of the GOES imagers. The values of band-limited solar irradiance and brightness temperatures are provided for various reference solar spectra. The relative differences in band-limited solar irradiance computed for the considered reference solar spectra are between 0% and 2.5%. Differences expressed in terms of brightness temperatures may reach 0.8 K. The results for the ASTM and the Kurucz reference spectra agree within 0.1% relative difference. Parameters of linear fits relating effective brightness temperatures and spectral radiance equivalent temperatures are also determined for all sensors. They are required for precise radiance–temperature and temperature–radiance conversion through Planck's functions in the case of the finite spectral response of real sensors.

Corresponding author address: Alexander Trishchenko, Canada Centre for Remote Sensing, Earth Sciences Sector, Natural Resources Canada, 588 Booth St., Ottawa, ON K1A0Y7, Canada. Email: trichtch@ccrs.nrcan.gc.ca

Abstract

Satellite observations in the shortwave infrared (SWIR) part of spectrum between 3.5 and 4.0 μm deliver critically important information for many applications. The satellite signal in this spectral band consists of solar-reflected radiation and thermal radiation emitted by surface, clouds, and atmosphere. Accurate retrievals require precise knowledge of solar irradiance values within a channel's bandwidth. The magnitudes of solar irradiance for shortwave infrared channels (3.7–3.9 μm) for the Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) on board the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration-7 (NOAA-7) to NOAA-18 satellites and the Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite-8 (GOES-8) to GOES-12 are considered in this paper. Four recent solar reference spectra [those of Kurucz, Gueymard, the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM), and Wehrli] are analyzed to determine uncertainties in the knowledge of solar irradiance values for SWIR channels of the listed sensors. Because thermal radiation is frequently converted to effective blackbody temperature for analysis, computations, and calibration purposes, it is proposed here to express band-limited solar irradiance values in terms of brightness temperature as well. It is shown that band-limited solar irradiance for AVHRR radiometers expressed in terms of blackbody equivalent brightness temperature correspond to the range 355–360 K, and vary around 345 K for the SWIR channels of the GOES imagers. The values of band-limited solar irradiance and brightness temperatures are provided for various reference solar spectra. The relative differences in band-limited solar irradiance computed for the considered reference solar spectra are between 0% and 2.5%. Differences expressed in terms of brightness temperatures may reach 0.8 K. The results for the ASTM and the Kurucz reference spectra agree within 0.1% relative difference. Parameters of linear fits relating effective brightness temperatures and spectral radiance equivalent temperatures are also determined for all sensors. They are required for precise radiance–temperature and temperature–radiance conversion through Planck's functions in the case of the finite spectral response of real sensors.

Corresponding author address: Alexander Trishchenko, Canada Centre for Remote Sensing, Earth Sciences Sector, Natural Resources Canada, 588 Booth St., Ottawa, ON K1A0Y7, Canada. Email: trichtch@ccrs.nrcan.gc.ca

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