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Appl Opt. 2007 Mar 20;46(9):1535-47.

Remote sensing of the ocean contributions from ultraviolet to near-infrared using the shortwave infrared bands: simulations.

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  • 1National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, National Environmental Satellite, Data, and Information Service, Center for Satellite Applications and Research, Camp Springs, Maryland 20746, USA.


In the remote sensing of the ocean near-surface properties, it is essential to derive accurate water-leaving radiance spectra through the process of the atmospheric correction. The atmospheric correction algorithm for Sea-Viewing Wide Field-of-View Sensor (SeaWiFS) and Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) uses two near-infrared (NIR) bands at 765 and 865 nm (748 and 869 nm for MODIS) for retrieval of aerosol properties with assumption of the black ocean at the NIR wavelengths. Modifications are implemented to account for some of the NIR ocean contributions for the productive but not very turbid waters. For turbid waters in the coastal regions, however, the ocean could have significant contributions in the NIR, leading to significant errors in the satellite-derived ocean water-leaving radiances. For the shortwave infrared (SWIR) wavelengths (approximately > 1000 nm), water has significantly larger absorption than those for the NIR bands. Thus the black ocean assumption at the SWIR bands is generally valid for turbid waters. In addition, for future sensors, it is also useful to include the UV bands to better quantify the ocean organic and inorganic materials, as well as for help in atmospheric correction. Simulations are carried out to evaluate the performance of atmospheric correction for nonabsorbing and weakly absorbing aerosols using the NIR bands and various combinations of the SWIR bands for deriving the water-leaving radiances at the UV (340 nm) and visible wavelengths. Simulations show that atmospheric correction using the SWIR bands can generally produce results comparable to atmospheric correction using the NIR bands. In particular, the water-leaving radiance at the UV band (340 nm) can also be derived accurately. The results from a sensitivity study for the required sensor noise equivalent reflectance, (NE Delta rho), [or the signal-to-noise ratio (SNR)] for the NIR and SWIR bands are provided and discussed.

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