International Conference on Advances in Bio-Informatics, Bio-Technology and Environmental Engineering - ABBE 2014
Author(s) : H. STEPHEN, P.S. SAWYER
Extraction of relevant information from remotely sensed imagery is essential for the identification of changes in the earth’s environment. Methods for converting the data collected at the sensor to surface reflectance have been under constant improvement since the beginning of the Landsat program. The time and effort needed to perform this task has recently been eliminated with the publication of the USGS Landsat CDR. This paper compares the data available from the USGS with a simple dark object subtraction method for determining surface reflectance. Our goal is to determine if the USGS data set is comparable to previous methods. We find that the USGS data set is strongly correlated with the simpler DOS method. While clear differences in absolute surface reflectance are observed in the visible and near-IR bands, the trends in the data over time are consistent. This suggests that previous trend studies using the simpler methods do not need to be revisited using the newer data. The findings also suggest that researchers no longer need to perform the labor intensive step of converting raw data to surface reflectance by making use of the USGS surface reflectance data instead.