Validating Digital Earth Australia NBART for the Landsat 9 Underfly of Landsat 8

Guy Byrne, Mark Broomhall, Andrew J. Walsh, Medhavy Thankappan, Eric Hay, Fuqin Li, Brendon McAtee, Rodrigo Garcia, Janet Anstee, Gemma Kerrisk, Nathan Drayson, Jason Barnetson, Ian Samford, Robert Denham

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In recent years, Geoscience Australia has undertaken a successful continental-scale validation program, targeting Landsat and Sentinel analysis-ready data surface reflectance products. The field validation model used for this program was successfully built upon earlier studies, and the measurement uncertainties associated with these protocols have been quantified and published. As a consequence, the Australian earth observation community was well-prepared to respond to the United States Geological Survey (USGS) call for collaborators with the 2021 Landsat 8 (L8) and Landsat 9 (L9) underfly. Despite a number of challenges, seven validation datasets were captured across five sites. As there was only a single 100% overlap transit across Australia, and the country was amidst a strong La Niña climate cycle, it was decided to deploy teams to the two available overpasses with only 15% side lap. The validation sites encompassed rangelands, chenopod shrublands, and a large inland lake. Apart from instrument problems at one site, good weather enabled the capture of high-quality field data allowing for meaningful comparisons between the radiometric performance of L8 and L9, as well as the USGS and Australian Landsat analysis-ready data processing models. Duplicate (cross-calibration) spectral sampling at different sites provides evidence of the field protocol reliability, while the off-nadir view of L9 over the water site has been used to better compare the performance of different water and atmospheric correction processing models.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1233
JournalRemote Sensing
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2024


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