Improved Strategies to Enhance Calibration and Validation of Landsat Thermal Data and Their Associated Higher-Level Products

Principal Investigator(s)

Aaron Gerace

Research Team Members

Eon Rehman, Robert Kremens, Benjamin Kleynhans, Matthew Montanaro, Nina Raqueno, Lucy Falcon

Project Description

The Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) has a long history of supporting calibration efforts for Landsat’s thermal space-borne sensors.  Recently, the United States Geological Survey (USGS) has started releasing higher-level products to users to facilitate research efforts.  To support the verification of their Land-Surface Temperature product, RIT is developing a ground-based network of thermal radiometers that will be placed across the continental US to obtain reference measurements.  It is anticipated that this network will not only provide a much-needed source of data to enhance verification efforts but also improve our understanding of the Earth’s surface. 

Leveraging lessons-learned from previous efforts, an eight-band thermal radiometer has been developed to measure temperature and emissivity in the longwave region of the electromagnetic spectrum.  Preliminary field campaigns have begun to identify potential issues with the sensor and modifications will be made (as needed) to enable the instrumentation to be placed permanently in the field.  A cellular capability is being included in the final design to enable the transmission of data to a web server so the data can be made available to potential science users.  It is anticipated that six radiometers will be placed in the field by the end of the calendar year (2020).

Figures and Images

Figure 1

 Illustration of the field set-up and radiometer design.