Applied Sciences, Vol. 13, Pages 6352: Closed-Form Method for Atmospheric Correction (CMAC) of Smallsat Data Using Scene Statistics
Applied Sciences doi: 10.3390/app13106352
High-cadence Earth observation smallsat images offer potential for near real-time global reconnaissance of all sunlit cloud-free locations. However, these data must be corrected to remove light-transmission effects from variable atmospheric aerosol that degrade image interpretability. Although existing methods may work, they require ancillary data that delays image output, impacting their most valuable applications: intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance. Closed-form Method for Atmospheric Correction (CMAC) is based on observed atmospheric effects that brighten dark reflectance while darkening bright reflectance. Using only scene statistics in near real-time, CMAC first maps atmospheric effects across each image, then uses the resulting grayscale to reverse the effects to deliver spatially correct surface reflectance for each pixel. CMAC was developed using the European Space Agency&rsquo;s Sentinel-2 imagery. After a rapid calibration that customizes the method for each imaging optical smallsat, CMAC can be applied to atmospherically correct visible through near-infrared bands. To assess CMAC functionality against user-applied state-of-the-art software, Sen2Cor, extensive tests were made of atmospheric correction performance across dark to bright reflectance under a wide range of atmospheric aerosol on multiple images in seven locations. CMAC corrected images faster, with greater accuracy and precision over a range of atmospheric effects more than twice that of Sen2Cor.
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