Assessment of the Suomi NPP VIIRS Land Surface Albedo Data Using Station Measurements and High-Resolution Albedo Maps

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Zhou, Y.; Wang, D.; Liang, S.; Yu, Y.; He, T. Assessment of the Suomi NPP VIIRS Land Surface Albedo Data Using Station Measurements and High-Resolution Albedo Maps. Remote Sens. 2016, 8, 137.


Land surface albedo (LSA), one of the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) environmental data records (EDRs), is a fundamental component for linking the land surface and the climate system by regulating shortwave energy exchange between the land and the atmosphere. Currently, the improved bright pixel sub-algorithm (BPSA) is a unique algorithm employed by VIIRS to routinely generate LSA EDR from VIIRS top-of-atmosphere (TOA) observations. As a product validation procedure, LSA EDR reached validated (V1 stage) maturity in December 2014. This study summarizes recent progress in algorithm refinement, and presents comprehensive validation and evaluation results of VIIRS LSA by using extensive field measurements, Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) albedo product, and Landsat-retrieved albedo maps. Results indicate that: (1) by testing the updated desert-specific look-up-table (LUT) that uses a stricter standard to select the training data specific for desert aerosol type in our local environment, it is found that the VIIRS LSA retrieval accuracy is improved over a desert surface and the absolute root mean square error (RMSE) is reduced from 0.036 to 0.023, suggesting the potential of the updated desert LUT to the improve the VIIRS LSA product accuracy; (2) LSA retrieval on snow-covered surfaces is more accurate if the newly developed snow-specific LUT (RMSE = 0.082) replaces the generic LUT (RMSE = 0.093) that is employed in the current operational LSA EDR production; (3) VIIRS LSA is also comparable to high-resolution Landsat albedo retrieval (RMSE < 0.04), although Landsat albedo has a slightly higher accuracy, probably owing to higher spatial resolution with less impacts of mixed pixel; (4) VIIRS LSA retrievals agree well with the MODIS albedo product over various land surface types, with overall RMSE of lower than 0.05 and the overall bias as low as 0.025, demonstrating the comparable data quality between VIIRS and the MODIS LSA product.