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Frank Pesta

Document Type

Thesis - University Access Only

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

First Advisor

Dennis Helder


Landsat 8 is the first satellite in the Landsat mission to acquire spectral imagery of the Earth using pushbroom sensor instruments. As a result, there are almost 70,000 detectors on the Operational Land Imager (OLI) alone to monitor. Due to variations in manufacturing and temporal degradation of sensor materials, each detector within a band will respond differently when exposed to the same radiance, manifesting as vertical stripes along the imaging direction in Earth imagery. The primary method to characterize this detector-level non-uniformity is deployment of a solar diffuser panel. However, solar diffusers degrade over time due to constant ultraviolet exposure, leading to a need to have other working relative calibration methods in reserve. The purpose of this thesis is to validate the use of a secondary relative calibration method for the first eight bands of the OLI called the side-slither maneuver. By rotating a pushbroom sensor 90 degrees on its yaw axis, each detector in the array will view the same ground target, resulting in an ideal flat field target for adequate relative calibration. A characterization algorithm was developed to derive relative gains from side-slither collect data that includes novel approaches to uniform frame selection and even/odd detector normalization. Three derivation algorithms were used to characterize relative gains from side-slither data. Characterization results were visually compared with existing processing parameters. Relative gains from 13 side-slither collects were temporally trended and compared with xiii solar diffuser trends to determine how well the side-slither maneuver observes detector degradation over time. After determining which derivation algorithm yielded the best corrective results, side-slither and diffuser-based relative gains were applied to 39 test images spanning the mission length to comprehensively evaluate corrective performance between the two methods on several different levels. Temporal trending results show that the side-slither maneuver tracks the same changes observed in solar diffuser data and that the OLI is remarkably stable, having only degraded around 0.9 percent maximum in each band since launch. Relative gains from 12 collects and 7 diffuser-based sets were applied to 39 test images spanning OLI’s lifetime. Results showed that not only do side-slither relative gains provide comparable performance to diffuser-based estimates, but they proved superior for reducing banding and streaking in several bands.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Landsat satellites--Calibration
Imaging systems--Image quality


Includes bibliographical references (pages 95-99)



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University


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