Performance of Three Reflectance Calibration Methods for Airborne Hyperspectral Spectrometer Data

Molecular Diversity Preservation International (M DP I)
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Sensors, 2009, 9 (2), pp. 794 - 813
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In this study, the performances and accuracies of three methods for converting airborne hyperspectral spectrometer data to reflectance factors were characterized and compared. The reflectance mode (RM) method, which calibrates a spectrometer against a white reference panel prior to mounting on an aircraft, resulted in spectral reflectance retrievals that were biased and distorted. The magnitudes of these bias errors and distortions varied significantly, depending on time of day and length of the flight campaign. The linear-interpolation (LI) method, which converts airborne spectrometer data by taking a ratio of linearly-interpolated reference values from the preflight and postflight reference panel readings, resulted in precise, but inaccurate reflectance retrievals. These reflectance spectra were not distorted, but were subject to bias errors of varying magnitudes dependent on the flight duration length. The continuous panel (CP) method uses a multi-band radiometer to obtain continuous measurements over a reference panel throughout the flight campaign, in order to adjust the magnitudes of the linear-interpolated reference values from the preflight and post-flight reference panel readings. Airborne hyperspectral reflectance retrievals obtained using this method were found to be the most accurate and reliable reflectance calibration method.
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