NOAA Satellite Information System

Satellite Instrument Calibration

TIROS-N, TIROS-ATN Calibration

NOAA-19 calibration coefficients are issued as amendments to the "NOAA-KLM User's Guide" included in Appendix D.6. The NESDIS/STAR Calibration/validation project provides real-time environmental satellites instrument performance monitoring.  Currently the NOAA-19 MHS Channel 3&4 degration appears to have stopped.

NOAA-18 calibration coefficients are issued as amendments to the "NOAA-KLM User's Guide" included in Appendix D.4.  Most instruments evaluated by the NESDIS/STAR calibration/validation project meet specification with the current exception of HIRS/4. NOAA-18 HIRS is experiencing increased noise on Channels 1-10. The HIRS data is degraded and unusable for the user community.

NOAA-17 AVHRR Channels 1, 2 and 3 calibration coefficients will be updated monthly beginning 10 August 2004.   These updates will continue until further notice.   Information and latest update.

NOAA-16 AVHRR Channels 1 and 2 calibration coefficients will be updated monthly beginning 13 May 2003.  AVHRR Channel 3A calibration coefficients have been updated monthly since 11 February 2003. These updates will continue until further notice.   Information and latest update.

NOAA-15, -16, -17 Calibration coefficients. Beginning with NOAA-15, calibration coefficients are issued as amendments to the "NOAA-KLM User's Guide" rather than amendments to the now obsolete Technical Memorandum 107 (see note at the bottom of this page).  Calibration coefficients will be included in Appendix D of the "User's Guide".  Also see Section 7, "Calibration of NOAA KLM Instruments."  For satellites prior to NOAA-15, see below. Additional steps are required for calibration of NOAA-15 AMSU instrument data, and are contained in the paragraphs below.

NOAA-15 AMSU-A, AMSU-B Calibration.  Before attempting to calibrate NOAA-15 AMSU instrument data, users should refer to the general discussion of calibration of these instruments contained in Section 7.3 of the "NOAA-KLM User's Guide."

Since the launch of NOAA-15, the AMSU-B instrument has been subject to varying biases produced by radio frequency interference from defective L-band HRPT transmission antennas.  The varying biases were stabilized when use of the interfering antennas was discontinued on 28 September 1999.  To determine the effect these biases have on AMSU-B data before and after this date, it is absolutely essential to consult Appendix-M of the "User's Guide" before attempting to calibrate the data.  As a result of the radio frequency interference, AMSU calibration coefficients have changed over time.  Only a limited, incomplete set of these coefficients is contained in Appendix-D of the "User's Guide."  Appendix-M advises users of the direct readout AMSU data to get small AMSU-A and -B Level 1b data sets, as the calibration information is contained within the Header Record of these data sets.  NOAA is not providing these calibration coefficients to direct readout users in any other manner, at this time.  Calibration parameters are contained in the Calibration Parameter Input Data Set (CIPIDS) that NOAA uses to process the Level 1b AMSU data.  The date of the last CIPIDS update is contained in the Header Record.  The location of all parameters within the Level 1b data sets can be found in Chapter 8, particularly Section 3 of the "User's Guide."  Examination of the Header Records will show that calibration information begins at octet 209 for AMSU-A data, and octet 193 for AMSU-B data.  Level 1b AMSU data sets can be ordered at the NOAA Comprehensive Large Array-data Stewardship System (CLASS).  There is no charge for small data sets.  Once your ordered data set is processed, you retrieve it from the SAA ftp download site.

NOAA-14 Calibration Coefficients (Amendments to NOAA Technical Memorandum 107 Appendix-B) for AVHRR or MSU/HIRS/SSU instruments

NOAA-14 visible channels 1 and 2 monthly updated coefficients were available November 1996 through August 2002.  NOTE: Visible channel updates are only available for NOAA-14 and NOAA-17 (channel 3A).

NOAA-12 Calibration Coefficients (Amendments to NOAA Technical Memorandum 107 Appendix-B)

NOAA-12 correction to Appendix-B calibration Correction to original printed version of coefficients.

NOAA-12 daily clock drift error corrections.
Amendments to NOAA Technical Memorandum 107 Appendix-B for NOAA-11 (Calibration coefficients)

NOAA-9,11 correction to Appendix-B calibration


Additional Information

Pre-Product Processing Branch file of NOAA level 1b processing changes and updates. Direct readout users processing data to level 1b may wish to consider changes NOAA implements in its processing routine.

Normalized spectral response tables and plots for NOAA TIROS, GOES, METEOSAT, GMS and INSAT from the International Satellite Cloud Climatology Project (ISCCP).  ISCCP calibration coefficient tables and documentation are also available at this site.

CSIRO in Australia has a paper on calibration techniques and applications of AVHRR data.

Sensitivity of the GOES Imager Infrared Channels A short discussion of the relationship between GOES IR channel counts and temperature by Stan Kidder.

NOAA Technical Memorandum NESS 107: Data Extraction and Calibration of TIROS-N/ NOAA Radiometers (Revised October 1988) is no longer in general distribution since its printing in 1988. Multiple copies were distributed to most government weather bureaus and their satellite operations divisions, associated libraries, government and private remote sensing organizations, and university atmospheric science departments engaged in satellite data utilization. NESS 107 has not been updated since 1988, except for the periodic issuance of Amendments to Appendix-B which contain the calibration coefficients for NOAA polar orbiting satellites launched since 1988. Persons needing access to NESS 107 should contact any of the above mentioned organizations that have received this publication. A portion of Chapter 5 and Appendix A of NESS 107 (related to AVHRR calibration) has been reproduced as an Adobe Acrobat PDF file (107 Kb). The calibration technique described is only applicable up to and including NOAA-12. For later satellites, see the "NOAA KLM User's Guide". NESS 107 is now obsolete and has been superseded by the "NOAA KLM User's Guide" which contains a complete revision of the discussion of calibration of instruments flown on NOAA spacecraft. This guide is available electronically. Most of the calibration information is contained in Section 7 and Appendix K of the User's Guide.


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