Vol. 31: Stray Light in the SeaWiFS Radiometer

SeaWiFS Pre-Launch Technical Report Series


Barnes, R.A., A.W. Holmes, and W.E. Esaias, 1995: Stray Light in the SeaWiFS Radiometer. NASA Tech. Memo. 104566, Vol. 31, S.B. Hooker, E.R. Firestone, and J.G. Acker, Eds., NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland, 76 pp.


Some of the measurements from the Sea-viewing Wide Field-of-view Sensor (SeaWiFS) will not be useful as ocean measurements. For the ocean data set, there are procedures in place to mask the SeaWiFS measurements of clouds and ice. Land measurements will also be masked using a geographic technique based on each measurement's latitude and longitude. Each of these masks involves a source of light much brighter than the ocean. Because of stray light in the SeaWiFS radiometer, light from these bright sources can contaminate ocean measurements located a variable number of pixels away from a bright source. In this document, the sources of stray light in the sensor are examined, and a method is developed for masking measurements near bright targets for stray light effects. In addition, a procedure is proposed for reducing the effects of stray light in the flight data from SeaWiFS. This correction can also reduce the number of pixels masked for stray light. Without these corrections, local area scenes must be masked 10 pixels before and after bright targets in the along-scan direction. The addition of these corrections reduces the along-scan masks to four pixels before and after bright sources. In the along-track direction, the flight data are not corrected, and are masked two pixels before and after. Laboratory measurements have shown that stray light within the instrument changes in a direct ratio to the intensity of the bright source. The measurements have also shown that none of the bands show peculiarities in their stray light response. In other words, the instrument's response is uniform from band to band. The along-scan correction is based on each band's response to a 1 pixel wide bright source. Since these results are based solely on preflight laboratory measurements, their successful implementation requires compliance with two additional criteria. First, since SeaWiFS has a large data volume, the correction and masking procedures must be such that they can be converted into computationally fast algorithms. Second, they must be shown to operate properly on flight data. The laboratory results, and the corrections and masking procedures that derive from them, should be considered as zeroeth order estimates of the effects that will be found on orbit.

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