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By Space Studies Board, National Research Council Committee on Earth Studies

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Extra info for Issues in the Integration of Research and Operational Satellite Systems for Climate Research (Compass Series (Washington, D.C.).)

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The placement of CERES on Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) (inclined), EOS-AM (1030), and EOS-PM (1330) provides the opportunity to study problems requiring relatively high Sun angles, low cloud amounts (AM), and high cloud amounts (PM). However, because many useful quantities are surface or surface-related, a morning orbit is preferred because cloudiness is less prevalent. At present, NPP will provide a bridge for atmospheric correction and moderate resolution in the 1030 measurements (VIIRS, Cross-track IR Sounder (CrIS)), but these will end with the anticipated European Organization for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites (EUMETSAT) Operational Polar Orbiter (METOP) missions designed to fill the 1030 (at 0930) slot with a less useful Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR)-class instrument.

CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS Following are the committee’s conclusions and recommendations with regard to calibration and validation: • A continuous and effective on-board reference system is needed to verify the stability of the calibration and sensor characteristics from launch through the life of a mission. In the case of thermal sensors, there should be an on-board source that is designed for optimum stability. For the solar reflective spectral range, there should be an on-board solar diffuser.

Because spectral shifts may arise as a result of temperature changes or beam angle, the in-band spectral response should be measured at the end-to-end system level and at the expected operating temperature(s). The spectral transmission of interference filters has been known to be unstable (and subject to on-orbit vacuum shifts in response), so that it may be necessary to remeasure the spectral response on orbit. An example of instrumentation to measure on-orbit response measurements is the spectroradiometric calibration assembly (SRCA) on board the Moderate-resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) now flying on the Earth Observing System (EOS) Terra spacecraft.

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