What are Calibration Parameter Files and how accurate is the radiometric calibration of Landsat images?

Calibration Parameter Files (CPFs) describe radiometric and geometric data characteristics. CPFs contain over 15,000 coefficients that describe the radiometric and geometric characteristics of Landsat data, which are used in processing data to Level 1 (L1) products. CPFs are issued to span distinct timeframes and are often updated with improved calibration coefficients. CPFs and notices for Landsat 7 and 5 can be viewed on the Landsat Calibration page.

The ETM+ instrument aboard Landsat 7 was designed to maintain a radiometric accuracy of +/- 5% during its 5-year mission. The design supports this requirement through hardware design changes, prelaunch characterization, an on-orbit monitoring and calibration program, and changes in the ground processing of the data.