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Calibrating Images Tutorial

In this tutorial, you will calibrate a QuickBird Level-1 image to spectral radiance and
reflectance while learning about the various metadata fields that ENVI uses to
perform calibration.
Files Used in This Tutorial
The tutorial data files are available in a single ZIPfile from the Exelis website. Extract
this file to a local directory. Go to the folder named ENVIOrthorectification
Module\005606990010_01_P008_MUL.
Files Description
005606990010_01_P008_
MUL\05JUL*.TIF
QuickBird Level-1 multispectral imagery for
Phoenix, AZ from 11 July 2005
QuickBird files are courtesy of DigitalGlobe and may not be reproduced without
explicit permission from DigitalGlobe.
Background
Calibrating imagery is a common pre-processing step for remote sensing analysts
who need to extract data and create scientific products from images. Calibration
attempts to compensate for radiometric errors from sensor defects, variations in
scan angle, and system noise to produce an image that represents true spectral
radiance at the sensor.
ENVI's Radiometric Calibration tool provides options to calibrate imagery to radiance,
reflectance, or brightness temperatures. See the "Radiometric Calibration" topic in
ENVI Help for more information on how each option is computed.
The available calibration options depend on what metadata is included with the
imagery. Most vendors distribute a metadata file or ephemeris data along with the
image data.
Note: It is important to select the correct metadata file (using the File >Open menu option) when
opening data from various satellite sensors so that ENVI reads the required calibration parameters. Refer
to the following table:
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Calibrating Images Tutorial
2013Exelis Visual Information Solutions, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Sensor
Calibration Options
Metadata File to Open
Radiance Reflectance
Brightness
Temperature
ALOS AVNIR-2
and PRISM
Level-2B data

HDR*.txt
Disaster
Monitoring
Constellation
(DMC) DIMAP

*.dim
EO-1 ALI Use the File >Open
As > EO1 >HDF
menu option and select
a *_HDF.L1G file. A *_
MTL.L1G file must be in
the same directory.
EO-1 Hyperion Use the File >Open
As > EO1 > HDF
menu option and select
an .L1R file. Calibration
metadata is hard-coded
into the application and
not read from any
metadata files.
GeoEye-1
*_metadata.xml
IKONOS
metadata.txt
Landsat TM,
ETM+, and
Landsat Data
Continuity
Mission
OLI/TIRS data
*_MTL.txt, *WO.txt,
or *.met
OrbView-3 Image file (.tif,
.ntf)
Pleiades
Primary or
Ortho (single or
mosaic)

DIM*.xml
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Calibrating Images Tutorial
2013Exelis Visual Information Solutions, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Sensor
Calibration Options
Metadata File to Open
Radiance Reflectance
Brightness
Temperature
RapidEye Level-
1B
(A NITF/NSIF
license is
required to
open these
files.)

*_metadata.xml
SPOT DIMAP
METADATA.DIM
QuickBird Image file (.tif,
.ntf)
WorldView-1
and -2
Image file (.tif,
.ntf)
To open QuickBird or WorldView data, select the image file. ENVI will read the
necessary metadata from the accompanying *.IMD file.
Open a QuickBird Image and ViewIts Metadata
1. Start ENVI.
2. From the menu bar, select File > Open. A file selection dialog appears.
3. Navigate to the folder where you saved the tutorial data and select the file
05JUL11182931-M1BS-005606990010_01_P008.tif.
4. In the Layer Manager, right-click on the filename and select View Metadata.
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Calibrating Images Tutorial
2013Exelis Visual Information Solutions, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
5. Click the Spectral category on the left side of the Metadata Viewer. This shows
several metadata fields related to calibration. ENVI needs gain and offset
values in units of W/(m
2
* m * sr) to calibrate imagery to radiance. You can
see these values under the Gains and Offsets columns. The gains and offsets
are already in the correct units in this image. If they are not in the correct units,
you can use the Scale Factor field (discussed in the calibration steps below) to
scale the calibrated image to the correct units.
6. Select the Image Parameters category. You can see the values for Sun
Azimuth and Sun Elevation that were derived from the QuickBird metadata.
7. Select the Time category. The Acquisition Time for this scene is listed in
Coordinated Universal Time (UTC). The Sun Azimuth, Sun Elevation, and
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Calibrating Images Tutorial
2013Exelis Visual Information Solutions, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Acquisition Time are used in combination with the various fields under the
Spectral category when calibrating the image to reflectance.
8. Close the Metadata Viewer.
Calibrate the Image to Radiance
1. From the Toolbox, select Radiometric Correction > Radiometric
Calibration. The Select Input File dialog appears, with the QuickBird file
already selected.
2. Click OK. The Radiometric Calibration dialog appears.
3. Leave the default options as-is. You will create a floating-point radiance image
(BSQ interleave) in units of W/(m
2
* m * sr). Keeping the Scale Factor at
1.00 ensures the units will remain the same as the original gain and offset
values.
4. The FLAASH Settings button is for users who will subsequently perform
atmospheric correction using the FLAASH

tool. You can skip this step for the


tutorial, but here is some background information if you plan to use FLAASH in
the future:
The use of FLAASH requires a separate "Atmospheric Correction Module: QUAC
and FLAASH" license. FLAASH requires input imagery to meet the following
criteria:
l The image must be calibrated to radiance in units of W/(cm
2
* nm* sr).
l The input image can be floating-point, long integer (4-byte signed), or
integer (2-byte signed or unsigned).
l The image can be in band-interleaved-by-line (BIL) or band-interleaved-
by-pixel (BIP) format.
Clicking the FLAASHSettings button will create a radiance image in BIL,
floating-point format. It will apply a scale factor of 0.1 to the radiance image to
get it in units of W/(cm
2
* nm* sr). Clicking this button prevents you from
having to separately convert the interleave of the radiance image and figuring
out the appropriate scale factor for use with FLAASH.
When you start FLAASH, select the radiance image that you just created with
the Radiometric Calibration tool. When the Radiance Scale Factors dialog
appears, leave the default value of 1 for the Single Scale Factor field.
5. Select an output folder for the radiance image, and name it qb_radiance.dat.
6. Ensure that the Display Result check box is selected.
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Calibrating Images Tutorial
2013Exelis Visual Information Solutions, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
7. Click OK. When processing is complete, the calibrated radiance image is
displayed.
8. To visually compare the original and calibrated images, toggle the qb_
radiance.dat layer off and on in the Layer Manager.
9. With both layers selected in the Layer Manager, click the Cursor Value icon
in the main toolbar.
10. In the Cursor Value dialog, look for the "Data" values for each image. The
original image has integer pixel values, while the calibrated image has floating-
point values. The following figure shows an example where the calibrated image
is displayed in true color:
l Band 3 is assigned to the red channel
l Band 2 is assigned to the green channel
l Band 1 is assigned to the blue channel
For the current pixel location, the calibrated image has a radiance value of
126.556503 W/(m
2
* m * sr) in the red band, while the original image has a
raw DN value of 709 in the red band.
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Calibrating Images Tutorial
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11. Close the Cursor Value dialog.
Another way to quickly verify the radiance values is to display a spectral profile:
1. Uncheck the original QuickBird image (05JUL*) in the Layer Manager so that
only the calibrated image is displayed.
2. Select Display > Spectral Profile from the main toolbar.
3. Click anywhere inside the image to display a plot of radiance values for the
selected pixel location. You can use a spectral profile to help identify features of
interest:
The following example shows a pixel that represents soil. The radiance values
peak in the red wavelength region (~ 650 nm).
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Calibrating Images Tutorial
2013Exelis Visual Information Solutions, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
The next example shows a pixel that represents water. The radiance values
peak in the blue wavelength region (~ 485 nm).
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Calibrating Images Tutorial
2013Exelis Visual Information Solutions, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
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Calibrating Images Tutorial
2013Exelis Visual Information Solutions, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
The next example shows a pixel that represents vegetation. The radiance
values peak in the near-infrared wavelength region (~ 900 nm).
5. When you are finished, close the Spectral Profile dialog.
6. Right-click on each layer name in the Layer Manager, and select Remove.
Calibrate the Image to Reflectance
Next, you will calibrate the QuickBird image to top-of-atmosphere reflectance. This
image has all the metadata needed to calibrate to reflectance:
l Gains
l Offsets
l Solar irradiance
l Solar elevation
l Acquisition time
Follow these steps:
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Calibrating Images Tutorial
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1. From the Toolbox, select Radiometric Correction > Radiometric
Calibration.
2. In the Select Input File dialog, select the original QuickBird image (05JUL*),
then click OK.
3. In the Radiometric Calibration dialog, change the Calibration Type to
Reflectance.
4. Leave the other options as-is.
5. Select an output folder for the reflectance image, and name it qb_
reflectance.dat.
6. Ensure that the Display Result check box is selected.
7. Click OK. When processing is complete, the reflectance image is displayed.
8. Click the Cursor Value icon in the main toolbar.
9. Look at the "Data" values for each band in the Cursor Value dialog and verify
that the values are less than 1.0.
10. Select Display > Spectral Profile from the main toolbar.
11. Click anywhere inside the image to display a plot of reflectance values for the
current pixel location. The following figure shows an example of a pixel that
represents water. Reflectance values range from 0.04 to 0.09 across all four
bands, with the lowest value (0.04) in the near-infrared wavelength region:
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Calibrating Images Tutorial
2013Exelis Visual Information Solutions, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
12. When you are finished, exit ENVI.
For more information on the topics covered in this tutorial, see the "Radiometric
Calibration" topic in ENVI Help, or click the help button in the Radiometric
Calibration tool.
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Calibrating Images Tutorial
2013Exelis Visual Information Solutions, Inc. All Rights Reserved.