Jean-Claude Roger (UMD ​PI), Belen Franch (CO-PI) and Chris Justice (CO-I) were awarded $375K from NASA for a project entitled “Toward a Consistent Land Long Term Climate Data Record from Large Field of View Polar Orbiting Earth Observation Satellites”. The project will be led by Adjunct Full Professor Eric Vermote ​(GSFC).


The surface reflectance is one of the key products used in developing several higher-order land products, such as Vegetation Indices, Albedo and LAI/FPAR, it is therefore seminal toward detecting trends in the biosphere and land surface and has been classed by NOAA as a “Fundamental Climate Data Record (FDCR) for Land”. Building a long-term BRDF corrected surface reflectance data record of climate quality implies combining different sensors and satellites (AVHRR sensors on-board NOAA 7, 9, 11, 14, 16, 17 and 18, the MODIS on-board Aqua and Terra and the VIIRS on-board Suomi-NPP and JPSS1), accounting for different spatial resolutions and spectral characteristics, assuring consistent calibration, and correcting for atmospheric and directional effects. As the spatial resolution issue is addressed by aggregating the original data to a resolution still suitable for climate studies (e.g. 0.05 degree latitude, longitude), the instrument calibration becomes the first major hurdle. The resulting dataset being the 35+ years BRDF corrected surface reflectance product and vegetation indices from 1981 to present. This effort will leverage existing funded activities currently underway for AVHRR, MODIS and VIIRS.