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Absolute Radiometric Calibration White Paper

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ABSOLUTE RADIOMETRIC CALIBRATION white paper The baseline for success Absolute radiometric calibration provides an on-orbit check and any necessary adjustments to the pre-flight sensor calibration performed in a lab. An accurate calibration is the baseline for the successful integration and fusion of data from multiple sensors on multiple platforms. For example, a time-lapse series of images or measurements requires an accurate calibration to ensure that phenomena observed are due to actual changes on the ground versus changes in the sensor. Using calibration sites around the globe, Maxar has created an industry-leading absolute radiometric calibration process to ensure the quality of every remote sensing product we provide to our customers. On-orbit calibration accounts for radiometric characteristics of the focal plane and filters that may change during the rigors of launch and in the space environment. Because monitoring radiometric output and stability is a responsibility to our customers across many industries, Maxar maintains an absolute radiometric uncertainty of ≤ 5%. A responsibility to our customers info@maxar.com maxar.com ■ Absolute radiometric calibration is a requirement for science projects related to customers in oil and mining, military intelligence, insurance, agriculture and others. ■ Products that use surface reflectance require a good absolute radiometric calibration as a baseline. ■ Vegetation indices, spectral characteristics of materials (e.g. building rooops), machine learning, and feature extraction all require calibrated radiances to work. As part of the calibration process, in-situ weather and surface measurements are collected on site to model surface and atmospheric behavior during sensor overpass. Located in rural Ft. Lupton, Colorado, the three-acre Maxar calibration range and laboratory is far from urban development and pollution—allowing for reliable measurement of atmospherics over the calibration targets. The instrument deck includes web-enabled weather stations and a sun photometer linked to NASA's AERONET system. A site in the Saharan desert is used for off-season calibration and radiometric stability analysis, and all calibrations are validated by secondary absolute radiometric calibration sites around the globe. The world-class Maxar calibration STATE-OF-THE-ART FACILITY Specialized calibration tarps are laid out at the Maxar calibration facility in Colorado. ESTABLISHED INTERN PROGRAM NASA Colorado Space Grant students install a weather station on the instrument deck.

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