Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department / School

Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

First Advisor

Larry Leigh


EPICS, global classification, PICS, radiometric calibration, satellite sensors, stability monitoring


As targets for the calibration and monitoring of optical satellite sensors, historically stable areas across North Africa have been used, known as Pseudo Invariant Calibration Sites PICS. However, two major drawbacks exist for these sites; first is the dependency on a single location to be always invariant, and second is the limited amount of observation achieved using these sites. As a result, longer time periods are needed to construct a dense data set to assess the radiometric performance of on-orbit optical sensors, and be convinced that the change detected is sensor-specific rather than site-specific. This work presents a global land cover classification to obtain an Extended Pseudo Invariant Calibration Site (EPICS) on a global scale using Landsat 8 Operational Land Imager (OLI) data. This technique provides multiple calibration sites across the globe, giving the possibility to build richer data sets in a shorter time frame compared to the traditional approach (PICS), with the advantage of assessing the calibration and stability of the sensors faster, detecting possible changes quicker and correcting them accordingly. This work identified 23 World Reference System two (WRS-2) Path/Row(s) locations around the globe as part of the global EPICS. This EPICS has the advantage of achieving multiple observations per day, with similar spectral characteristics compared to traditional PICS, while still producing temporal coefficient of variation (ratio of temporal standard deviation and temporal mean) less than 4% for all bands, with some as low as 2.7%.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Landsat satellites -- Calibration.
Earth resources technology satellites -- Calibration.
Artificial satellites in remote sensing -- Calibration.
Imaging systems ǂx Image quality.
Remote sensing -- Data processing.
Artificial satellites -- Stability.

Number of Pages



South Dakota State University



Rights Statement

In Copyright