EROS CalVal Center of Excellence (ECCOE)


The key to any science and analysis system is well-calibrated data products with defined accuracy and uncertainty system measurements available for each step in the processing chain, particularly as higher-level products and models are developed to support scientific detection, monitoring, and projection.

The Work of ECCOE

Scientists and engineers supporting ECCOE develop calibrated, validated geophysical measurements and integrated data products that contain the accuracy and precision required to map, measure, and monitor land changes attributed to climate change, natural disturbances, and human activity. ECCOE staff also work to identify and evaluate new remote sensing technologies in order to provide accurate measurements used to detect and monitor global change.

ECCOE develops, guides, and leads communications and best practices for the Cal/Val community for Earth Observations. This work includes:

  • Developing advanced methods to perform radiometric/geometric/spatial characterization and calibration of optical remote sensing systems to improve the accuracy and precision of all derived data products.
  • Developing new and improved methods for the cross-calibration of optical remote sensing systems for continuous improvement of the interoperability of remote sensing data products.
  • Providing the expertise and advocacy necessary for the acquisition of new measurements that continue to improve optical remote sensing data quality, coverage, and expanded usefulness for science applications.
  • Developing mutually beneficial partnerships within USGS/DOI, across other government agencies nationally and internationally, and throughout commercial and civil industries.
  • Developing and coordinating a standard best practices and methods in the remote sensing community for optical sensor calibration and validation.
  • Hosting annual meetings to engage the broader remote sensing community to understand requirements needed by science user community.

What is Calibration and Validation (Cal/Val)?

Calibration is integral in converting remote sensing image data into useful information for any application. Calibration processes vary from one remote sensing system to the other, and each system is governed by its sensing system specifications. All systems, however, must satisfy critical engineering and mission requirements — these include payload restriction, vehicle mass, bus capacity, orbital jitter, power supply, and others.

    Ground and in-situ instrument observations, the established selection criteria, standards and methods are all important aspects of sensor Validation. Characterizing and assessing the quality and utility of data and subsequent products from a broad variety of remote sensing systems is an integral part of ECCOE. Supporting Infrastructure and equipment (such as spectrometers, photometers and survey equipment) are also supported by ECCOE.