Status Report

NASA NNH13ZDA005L Ocean Color Remote Sensing Vicarious (In-Situ) Calibration Instruments

By SpaceRef Editor
January 4, 2013
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The Earth Science Division of NASA’s Science Mission Directorate is seeking ways to provide or develop in situ vicarious calibration instruments, systems, and approaches for a future mission’s ocean color instrument. This Request for Information (RFI) asks organizations to provide information regarding current instrument capabilities or descriptions of developments that would be needed in order to provide an in situ vicarious calibration capability for maintaining global climate quality ocean color remote sensing reflectances for a multi- or hyperspectral sensor. “Vicarious” calibration for ocean color refers to a final bias adjustment to the calibrated, spectral top-of-atmosphere radiances observed by an ocean color instrument. Responses could consider the PACE Science Definition Team (SDT) report (found at for details of sample vicarious calibration for ocean color requirements, particularly the details in Section 4.6.1 of the report.

NASA is requesting information from the community on capabilities and new approaches that are available for providing in situ instrumentation to support ocean color vicarious calibration requirements. Calibration requirements for the ocean color instrument are suggested to be a prelaunch absolute calibration of 2% and on-orbit absolute calibration accuracy (before vicarious calibration) of better than 5%. Vicarious calibration should include ground-based remote sensing reflectance (Rrs) data for evaluating postlaunch instrument gains. The recommended in situ vicarious calibration instrument(s) systems to support ocean color science applications might include the following features:

1. Spectral range from 350-900 nm at <= 3 nm resolution 2. Total spectral accuracies <= 5% including contributions from all instrument calibrations and data processing steps (with NIST traceability) 3. Temporal spectral stability <= 1% per deployment (with NIST traceability) 4. Sufficient data acquisition rates to reduce vicarious gain standard errors to <= 0.2% within one year of launch (post-launch, implying the need for multiple systems that are simultaneously deployed) 5. Capability of autonomous operation for some application. Respondents are asked to provide information about existing capabilities and/or capabilities that need to be developed which could meet the requirements described above. Each response to the RFI should address the following topics, in this order: a. A description of the existing capabilities and/or capabilities that need to be developed and how those capabilities would meet all of the desired vicarious calibration instrument(s) requirement(s). b. A justification for why this particular capability or approach would meet the requirement (s). c. An estimated total cost and schedule with any key details driving the cost. The schedule should indicate the length of the period for development. Responses to this RFI are due by February 15, 2013 in the form of a PDF uploaded to the NSPIRES web page. For background information and instructions on submission see the full text of the RFI on the NSPIRES web page for NNH13ZDA005L at or by going to, choosing “Solicitations”, followed by “Open Solicitations”, and searching on NNH13ZDA005L.

Point of contact for this RFI is Mr. Parminder Ghuman, Instrument Incubator Program Manager, E-mail:; Phone: 301-286-8001; FAX: 301-286-0321.

SpaceRef staff editor.