A 30+ year AVHRR Land Surface Reflectance Climate Data Record and its application to wheat yield monitoring

Remote Sens (Basel). 2017 Mar 21;Volume 9(Iss 3):10.3390/rs9030296. doi: 10.3390/rs9030296.


The Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) sensor provides a unique global remote sensing dataset that ranges from the 1980's to the present. Over the years, several efforts have been made on the calibration of the different instruments to establish a consistent land surface reflectance time-series and to augment the AVHRR data record with data from other sensors such as the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS). In this paper, we present a summary of all the corrections applied to the AVHRR Surface Reflectance and NDVI Version 4 Product, developed in the framework of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Climate Data Record (CDR) program. These corrections result from assessment of the geo-location, improvement of the cloud masking and calibration monitoring. Additionally, we evaluate the performance of the surface reflectance over the AERONET sites by a cross-comparison with MODIS, which is an already validated product, and evaluation of a downstream Leaf Area Index (LAI) product. We demonstrate the utility of this long time-series by estimating the winter wheat yield over the USA. The methods developed by [1] and [2] are applied to both the MODIS and AVHRR data. Comparison of the results from both sensors during the MODIS-era shows the consistency of the dataset with similar errors of 10%. When applying the methods to AVHRR historical data from the 1980's, the results have errors equivalent to those derived from MODIS.

Keywords: AVHRR; LCDR; MODIS; surface reflectance, yield monitoring.