Remote Sensing (2014-05-01)

On the Atmospheric Correction of Antarctic Airborne Hyperspectral Data

  • Martin Black,
  • Andrew Fleming,
  • Teal Riley,
  • Graham Ferrier,
  • Peter Fretwell,
  • John McFee,
  • Stephen Achal,
  • Alejandra Umana Diaz

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 6, no. 5
pp. 4498 – 4514


Read online

The first airborne hyperspectral campaign in the Antarctic Peninsula region was carried out by the British Antarctic Survey and partners in February 2011. This paper presents an insight into the applicability of currently available radiative transfer modelling and atmospheric correction techniques for processing airborne hyperspectral data in this unique coastal Antarctic environment. Results from the Atmospheric and Topographic Correction version 4 (ATCOR-4) package reveal absolute reflectance values somewhat in line with laboratory measured spectra, with Root Mean Square Error (RMSE) values of 5% in the visible near infrared (0.4–1 µm) and 8% in the shortwave infrared (1–2.5 µm). Residual noise remains present due to the absorption by atmospheric gases and aerosols, but certain parts of the spectrum match laboratory measured features very well. This study demonstrates that commercially available packages for carrying out atmospheric correction are capable of correcting airborne hyperspectral data in the challenging environment present in Antarctica. However, it is anticipated that future results from atmospheric correction could be improved by measuring in situ atmospheric data to generate atmospheric profiles and aerosol models, or with the use of multiple ground targets for calibration and validation.