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A procedure for radiometric recalibration of Landsat 5 TM reflective-band data

January 1, 2013

From the Landsat program's inception in 1972 to the present, the Earth science user community has been benefiting from a historical record of remotely sensed data. The multispectral data from the Landsat 5 (L5) Thematic Mapper (TM) sensor provide the backbone for this extensive archive. Historically, the radiometric calibration procedure for the L5 TM imagery used the detectors' response to the internal calibrator (IC) on a scene-by-scene basis to determine the gain and offset for each detector. The IC system degraded with time, causing radiometric calibration errors up to 20%. In May 2003, the L5 TM data processed and distributed by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Earth Resources Observation and Science Center through the National Landsat Archive Production System (NLAPS) were updated to use a lifetime lookup-table (LUT) gain model to radiometrically calibrate TM data instead of using scene-specific IC gains. Further modification of the gain model was performed in 2007. The L5 TM data processed using IC prior to the calibration update do not benefit from the recent calibration revisions. A procedure has been developed to give users the ability to recalibrate their existing level-1 products. The best recalibration results are obtained if the work-order report that was included in the original standard data product delivery is available. However, if users do not have the original work-order report, the IC trends can be used for recalibration. The IC trends were generated using the radiometric gain trends recorded in the NLAPS database. This paper provides the details of the recalibration procedure for the following: 1) data processed using IC where users have the work-order file; 2) data processed using IC where users do not have the work-order file; 3) data processed using prelaunch calibration parameters; and 4) data processed using the previous version of the LUT (e.g., LUT03) that was released before April 2, 2007.

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