Topic Editors

National Satellite Meteorological Center, China Meteorological Administration, Beijing 100081, China
Faculty of Geographical Science, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875, China
NTSG, University of Montana, Missoula, MT 59812, USA
Prof. Dr. Kebiao Mao
Institute of agricultural resources and regional planning, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Beijing 100081, China
Aerospace Information Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100094, China

Progress in Satellite Remote Sensing of Land Surface: New Algorithms, Sensors and Datasets

Abstract submission deadline
closed (30 October 2023)
Manuscript submission deadline
closed (30 December 2023)
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Topic Information

Dear Colleagues,

In scientific research on Earth systems, satellite remote sensing plays the most important role in quantifying land surface states, which are represented by soil moisture, land surface temperature, vegetation, snow cover, water bodies, and glaciers. In addition to providing direct support for various industrial applications, it can also provide vital input data for researchers in the fields of climate change, river basin hydrology, agricultural application, energy budget, and the water and carbon cycle. This Topic on “Progress in Satellite Remote Sensing of Land Surface: New Algorithms, Sensors and Datasets” will cover recent advances in remote sensing sensors, algorithms, and datasets for quantifying land surface parameters. Original research reports, review articles, and commentaries are welcome. The issue will host papers covering remote sensing algorithms for retrieving land surface parameters including, but not limited to, soil, snow and ice, forest, grass land, farmland, and water and urban areas. Papers focusing on new orbital sensors and land surface datasets are also welcome. Data from new satellites, such as the recently launched FengYun satellite series, are warmly encouraged to be used in this Topic.

Dr. Shengli Wu
Dr. Lingmei Jiang
Dr. Jinyang Du
Prof. Dr. Kebiao Mao
Dr. Tianjie Zhao
Topic Editors

Keywords

  • soil moisture
  • vegetation index
  • snow depth
  • snow water equivalents
  • water body
  • glacier
  • land surface temperature

Participating Journals

Journal Name Impact Factor CiteScore Launched Year First Decision (median) APC
Atmosphere
atmosphere
2.9 4.1 2010 17.7 Days CHF 2400
Climate
climate
3.7 5.2 2013 19.7 Days CHF 1800
Land
land
3.9 3.7 2012 14.8 Days CHF 2600
Remote Sensing
remotesensing
5.0 7.9 2009 23 Days CHF 2700
Sensors
sensors
3.9 6.8 2001 17 Days CHF 2600

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Published Papers (11 papers)

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16 pages, 26178 KiB  
Article
Evaluation of ICESat-2 Significant Wave Height Data with Buoy Observations in the Great Lakes and Application in Examination of Wave Model Predictions
by Linfeng Li, Ayumi Fujisaki-Manome, Russ Miller, Dan Titze and Hayden Henderson
Remote Sens. 2024, 16(4), 679; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs16040679 - 14 Feb 2024
Viewed by 938
Abstract
High waves and surges associated with storms pose threats to the coastal communities around the Great Lakes. Numerical wave models, such as WAVEWATCHIII, are commonly used to predict the wave height and direction for the Great Lakes. These predictions help determine risks and [...] Read more.
High waves and surges associated with storms pose threats to the coastal communities around the Great Lakes. Numerical wave models, such as WAVEWATCHIII, are commonly used to predict the wave height and direction for the Great Lakes. These predictions help determine risks and threats associated with storm events. To verify the reliability and accuracy of the wave model outputs, it is essential to compare them with observed wave conditions (e.g., significant wave height), many of which come from buoys. However, in the Great Lakes, most of the buoys are retrieved before those lakes are frozen; therefore, winter wave measurements remain a gap in the Great Lakes’ data. To fill the data gap, we utilize data from the Inland Water Surface Height product of the Ice, Cloud, and Land Elevation Satellite-2 (ICESat-2) as complements. In this study, the data quality of ICESat-2 is evaluated by comparing with wave conditions from buoy observations in the Great Lakes. Then, we evaluate the model quality of NOAA’s Great Lakes Waves-Unstructured Forecast System version 2.0 (GLWUv2) by comparing its retrospective forecast simulations for significant wave height with the significant wave height data from ICESat-2, as well as data from a drifting Spotter buoy that was experimentally deployed in the Great Lakes. The study indicates that the wave measurements obtained from ICESat-2 align closely with the in situ buoy observations, displaying a root-mean-square error (RMSE) of 0.191 m, a scatter index (SI) of 0.46, and a correlation coefficient of 0.890. Further evaluation suggests that the GLWUv2 tends to overestimate the wave conditions in high wave events during winter. The statistics show that the RMSE in 0–0.8 m waves is 0.257 m, while the RMSE in waves higher than 1.5 m is 0.899 m. Full article
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22 pages, 7384 KiB  
Article
Spatiotemporal Analysis of Urban Heat Islands and Vegetation Cover Using Emerging Hotspot Analysis in a Humid Subtropical Climate
by Abdolazim Ghanghermeh, Gholamreza Roshan, Kousar Asadi and Shady Attia
Atmosphere 2024, 15(2), 161; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos15020161 - 25 Jan 2024
Viewed by 1021
Abstract
Research on the temporal and spatial changes of the urban heat island effect can help us better understand how urbanization, climate change, and the environment are interconnected. This study uses a spatiotemporal analysis method that couples the Emerging Hot Spot Analysis (EHSA) technique [...] Read more.
Research on the temporal and spatial changes of the urban heat island effect can help us better understand how urbanization, climate change, and the environment are interconnected. This study uses a spatiotemporal analysis method that couples the Emerging Hot Spot Analysis (EHSA) technique with the Mann–Kendall technique. The method is applied to determine the intensity of the heat island effect in humid subtropical climates over time and space. The data used in this research include thermal bands, red band (RED) and near-infrared band (NIR), and Landsat 7 and 8 satellites, which were selected from 2000 to 2022 for the city of Sari, an Iranian city on the Caspian Sea. Pre-processed spectral bands from the ‘Google Earth Engine’ database were used to estimate the land surface temperature. The land surface temperature difference between the urban environment and the outer buffer (1500 m) was modeled and simulated. The results of this paper show the accuracy and novelty of using Emerging Hotspot Analysis to evaluate the effect of vegetation cover on the urban heat island intensity. Based on the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI), the city’s land surface temperature increased by approximately 0.30 °C between 2011 and 2022 compared to 2001 to 2010. However, the intensity of the urban heat island decreased during the study period, with r = −0.42, so an average −0.031 °C/decade decrease has been experienced. The methodology can be transferred to other cities to evaluate the role of urban green spaces in reducing heat stress and to estimate the heat budget based on historical observations. Full article
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30 pages, 12524 KiB  
Article
A Novel ICESat-2 Signal Photon Extraction Method Based on Convolutional Neural Network
by Wenjun Qin, Yan Song, Yarong Zou, Haitian Zhu and Haiyan Guan
Remote Sens. 2024, 16(1), 203; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs16010203 - 04 Jan 2024
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 978
Abstract
When it comes to the application of the photon data gathered by the Ice, Cloud, and Land Elevation Satellite-2 (ICESat-2), accurately removing noise is crucial. In particular, conventional denoising algorithms based on local density are susceptible to missing some signal photons when there [...] Read more.
When it comes to the application of the photon data gathered by the Ice, Cloud, and Land Elevation Satellite-2 (ICESat-2), accurately removing noise is crucial. In particular, conventional denoising algorithms based on local density are susceptible to missing some signal photons when there is uneven signal density distribution, as well as being susceptible to misclassifying noise photons near the signal photons; the application of deep learning remains untapped in this domain as well. To solve these problems, a method for extracting signal photons based on a GoogLeNet model fused with a Convolutional Block Attention Module (CBAM) is proposed. The network model can make good use of the distribution information of each photon’s neighborhood, and simultaneously extract signal photons with different photon densities to avoid misclassification of noise photons. The CBAM enhances the network to focus more on learning the crucial features and improves its discriminative ability. In the experiments, simulation photon data in different signal-to-noise ratios (SNR) levels are utilized to demonstrate the superiority and accuracy of the proposed method. The results from signal extraction using the proposed method in four experimental areas outperform the conventional methods, with overall accuracy exceeding 98%. In the real validation experiments, reference data from four experimental areas are collected, and the elevation of signal photons extracted by the proposed method is proven to be consistent with the reference elevation, with R2 exceeding 0.87. Both simulation and real validation experiments demonstrate that the proposed method is effective and accurate for extracting signal photons. Full article
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12 pages, 11263 KiB  
Article
Application of FY Satellite Data in Precipitation of Eastward-Moving Southwest China Vortex: A Case Study of Precipitation in Zhejiang Province
by Chengyan Mao, Yiyu Qing, Zhitong Qian, Chao Zhang, Zhenhai Gu, Liqing Gong, Junyu Liao and Haowen Li
Atmosphere 2023, 14(11), 1664; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos14111664 - 09 Nov 2023
Viewed by 719
Abstract
Based on the high-resolution data from April to October (the warm season) during the 2010 to 2020 timeframe provided by the FY-2F geostationary meteorological satellite, the classification and application evaluation of the eastward-moving southwest vortex cloud system affecting Zhejiang Province was conducted using [...] Read more.
Based on the high-resolution data from April to October (the warm season) during the 2010 to 2020 timeframe provided by the FY-2F geostationary meteorological satellite, the classification and application evaluation of the eastward-moving southwest vortex cloud system affecting Zhejiang Province was conducted using cloud classification (CLC) and black body temperature (TBB) products. The results show that: (1) when the intensity of the eastward-moving southwest vortex is strong, the formed precipitation is predominantly regional convective precipitation. The cloud system in the center and southeast quadrant of the southwest vortex is dominated by cumulonimbus and dense cirrus clouds with convective precipitation, while the other quadrants are mainly composed of stratiform clouds, resulting in stable precipitation; (2) The original text is modified as follows: By using the TBB threshold method to identify stratiform and mixed cloud rainfall, we observed a deviation of one order of magnitude. This deviation is advantageous for moderate rain. However, the precipitation results from mixed clouds identified by the TBB threshold method are being overestimated; By means of the application of stratiform and mixed cloud rainfall identified by the TBB threshold method, an order of magnitude deviation was identified (3) The TBB can be consulted to estimate the precipitation, above which there is a large error. Moreover, the dispersion of precipitation produced by deep convective clouds is the largest, while the dispersion of precipitation produced by stratiform clouds is the smallest and has better predictability. Compared to CLC products, cloud type results based on TBB identification are better for convective cloud precipitation application. Full article
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15 pages, 7252 KiB  
Article
Surface Properties of Global Land Surface Microwave Emissivity Derived from FY-3D/MWRI Measurements
by Ronghan Xu, Zharong Pan, Yang Han, Wei Zheng and Shengli Wu
Sensors 2023, 23(12), 5534; https://doi.org/10.3390/s23125534 - 13 Jun 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1231
Abstract
Land surface microwave emissivity is crucial to the accurate retrieval of surface and atmospheric parameters and the assimilation of microwave data into numerical models over land. The microwave radiation imager (MWRI) sensors aboard on Chinese FengYun-3 (FY-3) series satellites provide valuable measurements for [...] Read more.
Land surface microwave emissivity is crucial to the accurate retrieval of surface and atmospheric parameters and the assimilation of microwave data into numerical models over land. The microwave radiation imager (MWRI) sensors aboard on Chinese FengYun-3 (FY-3) series satellites provide valuable measurements for the derivation of global microwave physical parameters. In this study, an approximated microwave radiation transfer equation was used to estimate land surface emissivity from MWRI by using brightness temperature observations along with corresponding land and atmospheric properties obtained from ERA-Interim reanalysis data. Surface microwave emissivity at the 10.65, 18.7, 23.8, 36.5, and 89 GHz vertical and horizontal polarizations was derived. Then, the global spatial distribution and spectrum characteristics of emissivity over different land cover types were investigated. The seasonal variations of emissivity for different surface properties were presented. Furthermore, the error source was also discussed in our emissivity derivation. The results showed that the estimated emissivity was able to capture the major large-scale features and contains a wealth of information regarding soil moisture and vegetation density. The emissivity increased with the increase in frequency. The smaller surface roughness and increased scattering effect may result in low emissivity. Desert regions showed high emissivity microwave polarization difference index (MPDI) values, which suggested the high contrast between vertical and horizontal microwave signals in this region. The emissivity of the deciduous needleleaf forest in summer was almost the greatest among different land cover types. There was a sharp decrease in the emissivity at 89 GHz in the winter, possibly due to the influence of deciduous leaves and snowfall. The land surface temperature, the radio-frequency interference, and the high-frequency channel under cloudy conditions may be the main error sources in this retrieval. This work showed the potential capabilities of providing continuous and comprehensive global surface microwave emissivity from FY-3 series satellites for a better understanding of its spatiotemporal variability and underlying processes. Full article
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21 pages, 4270 KiB  
Article
A Disturbance Frequency Index in Earthquake Forecast Using Radio Occultation Data
by Tao Zhang, Guangyuan Tan, Weihua Bai, Yueqiang Sun, Yuhe Wang, Xiaotian Luo, Hongqing Song and Shuyu Sun
Remote Sens. 2023, 15(12), 3089; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs15123089 - 13 Jun 2023
Viewed by 1203
Abstract
Earthquake forecasting is the process of forecasting the time, location, and magnitude of an earthquake, hoping to gain some time to prepare to reduce the disasters caused by earthquakes. In this paper, the possible relationship between the maximum electron density, the corresponding critical [...] Read more.
Earthquake forecasting is the process of forecasting the time, location, and magnitude of an earthquake, hoping to gain some time to prepare to reduce the disasters caused by earthquakes. In this paper, the possible relationship between the maximum electron density, the corresponding critical frequency, and the occurrence of earthquakes is explored by means of radio occultation data based on mechanism analysis and actual earthquake-nearby data. A new disturbance frequency index is proposed in this paper as a novel method to help forecast earthquakes. Forecasting of the location and timing of earthquakes is based on the connection between proven new frequency distributions and earthquakes. The effectiveness of this index is verified by backtracking observation around the 2022 Ya’an earthquake. Using this index, occultation data can forecast the occurrence of earthquakes five days ahead of detection, which can help break the bottleneck in earthquake forecasting. Full article
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28 pages, 12745 KiB  
Article
Evaluation of Copernicus DEM and Comparison to the DEM Used for Landsat Collection-2 Processing
by Shannon Franks and Rajagopalan Rengarajan
Remote Sens. 2023, 15(10), 2509; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs15102509 - 10 May 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 3094
Abstract
Having highly accurate and reliable Digital Elevation Models (DEMs) of the Earth’s surface is critical to orthorectify Landsat imagery. Without such accuracy, pixel locations reported in the data are difficult to assure as accurate, especially in more mountainous landscapes, where the orthorectification process [...] Read more.
Having highly accurate and reliable Digital Elevation Models (DEMs) of the Earth’s surface is critical to orthorectify Landsat imagery. Without such accuracy, pixel locations reported in the data are difficult to assure as accurate, especially in more mountainous landscapes, where the orthorectification process is the most challenging. To this end, the Landsat Calibration and Validation Team (Cal/Val) compared the Copernicus DEM (CopDEM) to the DEM that is currently used in Collection-2 processing (called “Collection-2 DEM”). NGS ground-surveyed and lidar-based ICESat-2 points were used, and the CopDEM shows improvement to be less than 1 m globally, except in Asia where the accuracy and resolution of the DEM were greater for the CopDEM compared to the Collection-2 DEM. Along with slightly improved accuracy, the CopDEM showed more consistent results globally due to its virtually seamless source and consistent creation methods throughout the dataset. While CopDEM is virtually seamless, having greater than 99% of their data coming from a single source (Tandem-X), there are significantly more voids in the higher elevations which were mostly filled with SRTM derivatives. The accuracy of the CopDEM fill imagery was also compared to the Collection-2 DEM and the results were very similar, showing that the choice of fill imagery used by CopDEM was appropriate. A qualitative assessment using terrain-corrected products processed with different DEMs and viewing them as anaglyphs to evaluate the DEMs proved useful for assessing orbital path co-registration. While the superiority of the CopDEM was not shown to be definitive by the qualitative method for many of the regions assessed, the CopDEM showed a clear advantage in Northern Russia, where the Collection-2 DEM uses some of the oldest and least accurate datasets in the compilation of the Collection-2 DEM. This paper presents results from the comparison study, along with the justification for proceeding with using the Copernicus DEM in future Landsat processing. As of this writing, the Copernicus DEM is planned to be used in Collection-3 processing, which is anticipated to be released no earlier than 2025. Full article
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25 pages, 5119 KiB  
Article
Delineation of Orchard, Vineyard, and Olive Trees Based on Phenology Metrics Derived from Time Series of Sentinel-2
by Mukhtar Adamu Abubakar, André Chanzy, Fabrice Flamain, Guillaume Pouget and Dominique Courault
Remote Sens. 2023, 15(9), 2420; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs15092420 - 05 May 2023
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1850
Abstract
This study aimed to propose an accurate and cost-effective analytical approach for the delineation of fruit trees in orchards, vineyards, and olive groves in Southern France, considering two locations. A classification based on phenology metrics (PM) derived from the Sentinel-2 time series was [...] Read more.
This study aimed to propose an accurate and cost-effective analytical approach for the delineation of fruit trees in orchards, vineyards, and olive groves in Southern France, considering two locations. A classification based on phenology metrics (PM) derived from the Sentinel-2 time series was developed to perform the classification. The PM were computed by fitting a double logistic model on temporal profiles of vegetation indices to delineate orchard and vineyard classes. The generated PM were introduced into a random forest (RF) algorithm for classification. The method was tested on different vegetation indices, with the best results obtained with the leaf area index. To delineate the olive class, the temporal features of the green chlorophyll vegetation index were found to be the most appropriate. Obtained overall accuracies ranged from 89–96% and a Kappa of 0.86–0.95 (2016–2021), respectively. These accuracies are much better than applying the RF algorithm to the LAI time series, which led to a Kappa ranging between 0.3 and 0.52 and demonstrates the interest in using phenological traits rather than the raw time series of the remote sensing data. The method can be well reproduced from one year to another. This is an interesting feature to reduce the burden of collecting ground-truth information. If the method is generic, it needs to be calibrated in given areas as soon as a phenology shift is expected. Full article
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19 pages, 10391 KiB  
Article
Snow Density Retrieval in Quebec Using Space-Borne SMOS Observations
by Xiaowen Gao, Jinmei Pan, Zhiqing Peng, Tianjie Zhao, Yu Bai, Jianwei Yang, Lingmei Jiang, Jiancheng Shi and Letu Husi
Remote Sens. 2023, 15(8), 2065; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs15082065 - 13 Apr 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1578
Abstract
Snow density varies spatially, temporally, and vertically within the snowpack and is the key to converting snow depth to snow water equivalent. While previous studies have demonstrated the feasibility of retrieving snow density using a multiple-angle L-band radiometer in theory and in ground-based [...] Read more.
Snow density varies spatially, temporally, and vertically within the snowpack and is the key to converting snow depth to snow water equivalent. While previous studies have demonstrated the feasibility of retrieving snow density using a multiple-angle L-band radiometer in theory and in ground-based radiometer experiments, this technique has not yet been applied to satellites. In this study, the snow density was retrieved using the Soil Moisture Ocean Salinity (SMOS) satellite radiometer observations at 43 stations in Quebec, Canada. We used a one-layer snow radiative transfer model and added a τ-ω vegetation model over the snow to consider the forest influence. We developed an objective method to estimate the forest parameters (τ, ω) and soil roughness (SD) from SMOS measurements during the snow-free period and applied them to estimate snow density. Prior knowledge of soil permittivity was used in the entire process, which was calculated from the Global Land Data Assimilation System (GLDAS) soil simulations using a frozen soil dielectric model. Results showed that the retrieved snow density had an overall root-mean-squared error (RMSE) of 83 kg/m3 for all stations, with a mean bias of 9.4 kg/m3. The RMSE can be further reduced if an artificial tuning of three predetermined parameters (τ, ω, and SD) is allowed to reduce systematic biases at some stations. The remote sensing retrieved snow density outperforms the reanalysis snow density from GLDAS in terms of bias and temporal variation characteristics. Full article
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25 pages, 11803 KiB  
Article
Reprocessed MODIS Version 6.1 Leaf Area Index Dataset and Its Evaluation for Land Surface and Climate Modeling
by Wanyi Lin, Hua Yuan, Wenzong Dong, Shupeng Zhang, Shaofeng Liu, Nan Wei, Xingjie Lu, Zhongwang Wei, Ying Hu and Yongjiu Dai
Remote Sens. 2023, 15(7), 1780; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs15071780 - 27 Mar 2023
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2728
Abstract
Satellite-based leaf area index (LAI) products, such as the MODIS LAI, play an essential role in land surface and climate modeling research, from regional to global scales. However, data gaps and high-level noise can exist, thus limiting their applications to a broader scope. [...] Read more.
Satellite-based leaf area index (LAI) products, such as the MODIS LAI, play an essential role in land surface and climate modeling research, from regional to global scales. However, data gaps and high-level noise can exist, thus limiting their applications to a broader scope. Our previous work has reprocessed the MODIS LAI Collection 5 (C5) product, and the reprocessed data have been widely used these years. In this study, the MODIS C6.1 LAI data were reprocessed to broaden its application as a successor. We updated the integrated two-step method that is used for MODIS C5 LAI and implemented it into the MODIS C6.1 LAI product. Comprehensive evaluations for the original and reprocessed products were conducted. The results showed that the reprocessed LAI data had better performance in validation against reference maps. In addition, the site scale time series of reprocessed data was much smoother and more consistent with adjacent values. The global scale comparison showed that, though the MODIS C6.1 LAI does have improvements in ground validation with LAI reference maps, its spatial continuity, temporal continuity, and consistency showed little improvement when compared to C5. In contrast, the reprocessed data were more spatiotemporally continuous and consistent. Based on this evaluation, some suggestions for using various MODIS LAI products were given. This study assessed the quality of these different versions of MODIS LAI products and demonstrated the improvement of the reprocessed C6.1 data, which we recommended for use as a substitute for the reprocessed C5 data in land surface and climate modeling. Full article
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18 pages, 5945 KiB  
Article
Laboratory Radiometric Calibration Technique of an Imaging System with Pixel-Level Adaptive Gain
by Ze Li, Jun Wei, Xiaoxian Huang and Feifei Xu
Sensors 2023, 23(4), 2083; https://doi.org/10.3390/s23042083 - 13 Feb 2023
Viewed by 1599
Abstract
In a routine optical remote sensor, there is a contradiction between the two requirements of high radiation sensitivity and high dynamic range. Such a problem can be solved by adopting pixel-level adaptive-gain technology, which is carried out by integrating multilevel integrating capacitors into [...] Read more.
In a routine optical remote sensor, there is a contradiction between the two requirements of high radiation sensitivity and high dynamic range. Such a problem can be solved by adopting pixel-level adaptive-gain technology, which is carried out by integrating multilevel integrating capacitors into photodetector pixels and multiple nondestructive read-outs of the target charge with a single exposure. There are four gains for any one pixel: high gain (HG), medium gain (MG), low gain (LG), and ultralow gain (ULG). This study analyzes the requirements for laboratory radiometric calibration, and we designed a laboratory calibration scheme for the distinctive imaging method of pixel-level adaptive gain. We obtained calibration coefficients for general application using one gain output, and the switching points of dynamic range and the proportional conversion relationship between adjacent gains as the adaptive-gain output. With these results, on-orbit quantification applications of spectrometers adopting pixel-level automatic gain adaptation technology are guaranteed. Full article
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