Calibration and Validation for the Surface Biology and Geology (SBG) Mission Concept: Challenges of a Multi-Sensor System for Imaging Spectroscopy and Thermal Imagery
AbstractKey Points: • Provides an overview of calibration ideas developed for the SBG mission concept. • Looks at approaches to inter-calibration of multiple Earth orbiting sensors. • Surveys what calibration and validation resources are currently available or may be available to the SBG mission later in this decade. Abstract The primary objective of the NASA Surface Biology and Geology (SBG) mission is to measure biological, physical, chemical, and mineralogical features of the Earth's surface, realizing the conceptual component of the envisioned NASA Earth System Observatory (ESO). SBG is planned to launch as a two-platform mission in the late 2020s, the first of the ESO satellites. Targeted science and applications objectives based on observations of the Earth's surface biology and geology helped to define the mission architecture and instrument capabilities for the SBG mission concept. These objectives further drove the need for enabling change detection and trending of surface biological and geological features. These needs implied fundamental Journal of Geophysical Research-Biogeosciences calibration goals to achieve the necessary science data quality characteristics. To meet those goals, calibration and validation pre-launch and on-orbit methods formed a basis of the calibration and validation concept, including the combined use of on-board references, vicarious techniques, and routine lunar imaging. International collaboration with space agencies in other countries, an important feature of the recommended SBG mission architecture, uncovered and emphasized the need for inter-calibration techniques that underscored the importance of collaborative instrument characterization data sharing and the use of common calibration references that are International System of Units (SI) traceable in pre-launch and post-launch on orbit calibration mission phases. International collaboration through the use of terrestrial and aquatic networks on six continents for vicarious calibration and validation activities will produce unprecedented data quality.