Description: Among the background signals commonly seen by Earth-monitoring satellites is the specular reflection of sunlight off of Earth's surface, commonly referred to as a glint. This phenomenon, involving liquid or ice surfaces, can result in the brief, intense illumination of satellite sensors appearing from the satellite perspective to be of terrestrial origin. These glints are important background signals to be able to identify with confidence, particularly in the context of analyzing data from satellites monitoring for transient surface or atmospheric events. Here we describe methods for identifying glints based on the physical processes involved in their production, including spectral fitting and polarization measurements. We then describe a tool that, using the WGS84 spheroidal Earth model, finds the latitude and longitude on Earth where a reflection of this type could be produced, given input Sun and satellite coordinates. This tool enables the user to determine if the surface at the solution latitude and longitude is in fact reflective, thus identifying the sensor response as a true glint or an event requiring further analysis.
Date: March 1, 2009
Creator: Nelsen, James M., Jr.; Hohlfelder, Robert James; Jackson, Dale Clayton & Longenbaugh, Randolph S.
Item Type: Refine your search to only Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department