Advances in Atmospheric Sciences

, Volume 18, Issue 5, pp 984–1004 | Cite as

Atmospheric Corrections Using MODTRAN for TOA and Surface BRDF Characteristics from High Resolution Spectroradiometric/Angular Measurements from a Helicopter Platform

  • Yaping ZhouEmail author
  • Ken C. Rutledge
  • Thomas P. Charlock
  • Norman G. Loeb
  • Seiji Kato


High-resolution spectral radiance measurements were taken by a spectral radiometer on board a helicopter over the US Oklahoma Southern Great Plain near the Atmospheric Radiation Measurements (ARM) site during August 1998. The radiometer has a spectral range from 350 nm to 2500 nm at 1 nm resolution. The measurements covered several grass and cropland scene types at multiple solar zenith angles. Detailed atmospheric corrections using the Moderate Resolution Transmittance (MODTRAN) radiation model and in-situ sounding and aerosol measurements have been applied to the helicopter measurements in order to retrieve the surface and top of atmosphere (TOA) Bidirectional Reflectance Distribution Function (BRDF) characteristics. The atmospheric corrections are most significant in the visible wavelengths and in the strong water vapor absorption wavelengths in the near infrared region. Adjusting the BRDF to TOA requires a larger correction in the visible channels since Rayleigh scattering contributes significantly to the TOA reflectance. The opposite corrections to the visible and near infrarred wavelengths can alter the radiance difference and ratio that many remote sensing techniques are based on, such as the normalized difference vegetation index (NOVI). The data show that surface BRDFs and spectral albedos are highly sensitive to the vegetation type and sol:!r zenith angle while BRDF at TOA depends more on atmospheric conditions and the viewing geometry. Comparison with the Clouds and the Earth’s Radiant Energy System (CERES) derived clear sky Angular Distribution Model (ADM) for crop and grass scene type shows a standard deviation of O.08 in broadband anisotropic function at 25° solar zenith angle and O.15 at 50° solar zenith angle, respectively.

Key words

BRDF Radiative transfer Atmospheric correction 


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Copyright information

© Advances in Atmospheric Sciences 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yaping Zhou
    • 1
    Email author
  • Ken C. Rutledge
    • 1
  • Thomas P. Charlock
    • 2
  • Norman G. Loeb
    • 3
  • Seiji Kato
    • 3
  1. 1.Analytical Service & Material, IncHamptonUSA
  2. 2.Atmospheric Sciences Division, NASA Langley Research CenterHamptonUSA
  3. 3.Hampton UniversityHamptonUSA

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