Achieving sub-pixel geolocation accuracy in support of MODIS land science

Remote Sensing of Environment
By: , and 



The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) was launched in December 1999 on the polar orbiting Terra spacecraft and since February 2000 has been acquiring daily global data in 36 spectral bands—29 with 1 km, five with 500 m, and two with 250 m nadir pixel dimensions. The Terra satellite has on-board exterior orientation (position and attitude) measurement systems designed to enable geolocation of MODIS data to approximately 150 m (1σ) at nadir. A global network of ground control points is being used to determine biases and trends in the sensor orientation. Biases have been removed by updating models of the spacecraft and instrument orientation in the MODIS geolocation software several times since launch and have improved the MODIS geolocation to approximately 50 m (1σ) at nadir. This paper overviews the geolocation approach, summarizes the first year of geolocation analysis, and overviews future work. The approach allows an operational characterization of the MODIS geolocation errors and enables individual MODIS observations to be geolocated to the sub-pixel accuracies required for terrestrial global change applications.

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Achieving sub-pixel geolocation accuracy in support of MODIS land science
Series title Remote Sensing of Environment
DOI 10.1016/S0034-4257(02)00085-8
Volume 83
Issue 1-2
Year Published 2002
Language English
Publisher Elsevier
Contributing office(s) Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) Center
Description 19 p.
First page 31
Last page 49
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