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MMR Calibration Data (FIFE)


The MMR Calibration Data Set contains radiance data collected in the summer of 1987 and in July and August of 1989 via a Modular Multiband Radiometer (MMR) instrument. The MMR instrument monitored a nearly lambertian calibration panel stationed near the center of the FIFE study area. The radiances recorded from this instrument can be used to monitor solar insolation and clouds. In some cases, these data were also used to calculate the reflectance factor for reflective radiances measured over vegetation using other MMR instruments located at other FIFE sites or mounted on a helicopter.

Table of Contents:

  1. Data Set Overview
  2. Investigator(s)
  3. Theory of Measurements
  4. Equipment
  5. Data Acquisition Methods
  6. Observations
  7. Data Description
  8. Data Organization
  9. Data Manipulations
  10. Errors
  11. Notes
  12. Application of the Data Set
  13. Future Modifications and Plans
  14. Software
  15. Data Access
  16. Output Products and Availability
  17. References
  18. Glossary of Terms
  19. List of Acronyms
  20. Document Information

1. Data Set Overview:

Data Set Identification:

MMR Calibration Data (FIFE)
(MMR Calibration).

Data Set Introduction:

The MMR Calibration Data Set contains reflected radiance values from calibration panels (for MMR bands 1 through 8), adjusted for sun angle. The data were collected in the summer of 1987 and in July and August of 1989 via a MMR instrument.


Not available at this revision.

Summary of Parameters:

Reflected radiance values from calibration panels (for MMR bands 1 through 8), adjusted for sun angle.


An MMR instrument monitored a nearly lambertian calibration panel stationed near the center of the FIFE study area. The radiances recorded from this instrument can be used to monitor solar insolation and clouds. In some cases, these data were also used to calculate the reflectance factor for reflective radiances measured over vegetation using other MMR instruments located at other FIFE sites or mounted on a helicopter. These data were collected in the summer of 1987 on six days, and in July and August of 1989 on 10 days.

Related Data Sets:

FIS Data Base Table Name:


2. Investigator(s):

Investigator(s) Name and Title:

Staff Science.

Title of Investigation:

Staff Science Calibration Program.

Contact Information:

Contact 1:
Dr. Brian L. Markham
Greenbelt, MD
(301) 286-5240

Contact 2:
Dr. Charles L. Walthall
Univ. of Maryland
College Park, MD
(301) 405-4058

Requested Form of Acknowledgment.

The MMR Calibration data were collected by the staff of Kansas State University under the direction of the FIFE calibration scientist, B.L. Markham.

3. Theory of Measurements:

See the documents Surface Reflectance Measured with a Mast-borne MMR and Surface Reflectance Measured with a Helicopter-borne MMR for a description of the theory behind the operation of the MMR instrument.

4. Equipment:

Sensor/Instrument Description:

See the documents Surface Reflectance Measured with a Mast-borne MMR and Surface Reflectance Measured with a Helicopter-borne MMR for a description of the MMR instrument.

Collection Environment:

See the Sensor/Instrument Description Section.


See the Sensor/Instrument Description Section.

Source/Platform Mission Objectives:

See the Sensor/Instrument Description Section.

Key Variables:

See the Sensor/Instrument Description Section.

Principles of Operation:

See the Sensor/Instrument Description Section.

Sensor/Instrument Measurement Geometry:

See the Sensor/Instrument Description Section.

Manufacturer of Sensor/Instrument:

See the Sensor/Instrument Description Section.


See Markham 1987a, 1987b and 1987c for a complete description of the calibration for this data set. These documents have been scanned and are on FIFE CD-ROM Volume 1 in the Scanned Documents directory.


Changing the field-of-view will change the gains and offsets but will not change the temperature sensitivity coefficients.
The absolute error in calibration is estimated to be approximately 5% in wavebands 1-4 and approximately 10% in wavebands 5-7 (Sellers et al., 1990). The error in the thermal waveband is + or - 0.5 C (Markham, 1987).

Frequency of Calibration:


Pre-season and post-season calibrations were supplemented by daily stability checks using a 30 cm integrating sphere (for the first 7 wavebands) and an Everest Model 1000 calibration source (for the thermal waveband). The optical and thermal detectors are known to be temperature sensitive. The calibration procedures and specifics can be found in Jackson et al. 1983; Markham 1987a, b & c; and Markham et al. 1988.


Only a post-season calibration was performed.


Daily stability checks were only performed during the IFC-5 period. The same basic procedures were performed as in 1987 with the following exceptions:

  1. The 30 cm integrating sphere, operated at two lamp intensities, and Everest Model 1000 calibration source were located in an environmental chamber at the Kansas State Evapotranspiration Laboratory which was kept at a near constant ambient temperature during the daily stability checks,
  2. Temperature sensitivity correction data for the optical detectors were only obtained when the chamber was not being used for stability checks (i.e. no pre- and post-season calibrations were performed). The other calibration procedures were performed pre- and post-season.

Other Calibration Information:

See the Calibration Section.

5. Data Acquisition Methods:

An MMR was mounted over a barium sulfate calibration panel maintained in a fixed location at station 16 (sitegrid = 4439) in 1987 and at stations 906, 916 and 966 (sitegrids 2133, 4439 and 2437, respectively) in 1989.

6. Observations:

Data Notes:

Not available.

Field Notes:


7. Data Description:

Spatial Characteristics:

The FIFE site with areal extent of 15 km by 15 km, is located south of the Tuttle Reservoir and Kansas River, about 10 km from Manhattan, Kansas, USA. The northwest corner of the area has UTM coordinates of 4,334,000 Northing and 705,000 Easting in UTM Zone 14.

Spatial Coverage:

The MMR and barium sulfate panel were placed at the following locations.
--------   ---   --------   -------   --------   ---------  ----  -----  ------
2133-MMR   906   4329726    711604    39 05 34   -96 33 12  443     1    TOP
2437-MMR   966   4329150    712375    39 05 15   -96 32 41
4439-MMR    16   4325215    712794    39 03 07   -96 32 28  445
4439-MMR   916   4325193    712773    39 03 06   -96 32 28  443     2    N

Spatial Coverage Map:

Not available.

Spatial Resolution:

This is point data.


Not available.

Grid Description:

Not available.

Temporal Characteristics:

Temporal Coverage:

These data were collected on six days in the summer of 1987 and on ten days in July and August of 1989. Data were collected on the dates listed below.
                          OBS_DATE             OBS_DATE 
---------            ---------
06-JUN-87            28-JUL-89
11-JUL-87            04-AUG-89
15-AUG-87            06-AUG-89
16-AUG-87            07-AUG-89
17-AUG-87            08-AUG-89
11-OCT-87            09-AUG-89
26-JUL-89            10-AUG-89
27-JUL-89            11-AUG-89

Temporal Coverage Map:

Not available.

Temporal Resolution:

Spectra were collected about a minute apart during the afternoon.

Data Characteristics:

The SQL definition for the table found in the MMR_CALB.TDF file located on FIFE CD-ROM Volume 1.

Parameter/Variable Name
Parameter/Variable Description Range Units Source
SITEGRID_ID This is a FIS grid location code. Site grid codes (SSEE-III) give the south (SS) and the east (EE) cell number in a 100 x 100 array of 200 m square cells. The last 3 characters (III) are an instrument identifier.
STATION_ID The station ID designating the location of the observations.
OBS_DATE The date of the observations, in the format (DD-mmm-YY).
OBS_TIME The time that the observation was taken in GMT. The format is (HHMM).
SOLAR_ZEN_ANG The solar zenith angle. [degrees]
SOLAR_AZIM_ANG The solar azimuth angle in [degrees degrees, with 0=north, 90=east, from North] 180=south, and 270=west.
BAND1_RADNC_CAL The Barnes MMR channel 1 (.45 - [Watts] .52 microns) reflected radiance. [meter^-1] [ster^-1] [mic^-1]
BAND2_RADNC_CAL This field contains the Barnes [Watts] MMR channel 2 (.51 - .60 [meter^-1] micrometers) reflected radiance in [ster^-1] watts/(m**2 sr micrometer). [mic^-1]
BAND3_RADNC_CAL The Barnes MMR channel 3 (.63 - [Watts] .68 microns) reflected radiance. [meter^-1] [ster^-1] [mic^-1]
BAND4_RADNC_CAL The Barnes MMR channel 4 (.75 - [Watts] .88 microns) reflected radiance. [meter^-1] [ster^-1] [mic^-1]
BAND5_RADNC_CAL The Barnes MMR channel 5 (1.17 - [Watts] 1.33 microns) reflected radiance. [meter^-1] [ster^-1] [mic^-1]
BAND6_RADNC_CAL The Barnes MMR channel 6 (1.57 - [Watts] 1.80 microns) reflected radiance. [meter^-1] [ster^-1] [mic^-1]
BAND7_RADNC_CAL The Barnes MMR channel 7 (2.08 - [Watts] 2.37 microns) reflected radiance. [meter^-1] [ster^-1] [mic^-1]
BAND8_RADNC_CAL The Barnes MMR channel 8 (10.4 - [Watts] 12.3 microns) reflected radiance. [meter^-1] [ster^-1] [mic^-1]
RADIANT_TEMP_CAL The radiant temperature of the [degrees target. Celsius]
CHOPPER_TEMP_CAL The temperature of the chopper in [degrees the radiometer. Celsius]
DETECTOR_TEMP_CAL The detector temperature. [degrees Celsius]
DATASET_ID A unique identifier for a given # spectra.
REMARKS Other relavent information on the data.
FIFE_DATA_CRTFCN_CODE The FIFE Certification Code for * the data, in the following format: CPI (Certified by PI), CPI-??? (CPI - questionable data).
LAST_REVISION_DATE data, in the format (DD-mmm-YY).


# Use this field to link the spectra described here with those described in the Surface Reflectance Measured with a Mast-borne MMR and the Surface Reflectance Measured with a Helicopter-borne MMR data sets.

Decode the FIFE_DATA_CRTFCN_CODE field as follows: EXM Example or Test data (not for release). PRE Preliminary (unchecked, use at your own risk). CPI Checked by Principal Investigator (reviewed for quality). CGR Checked by a group and reconciled (data comparisons and cross-checks).

The certification code modifiers are: PRE-NFP Preliminary - Not for publication, at the request of investigator. CPI-MRG PAMS data that are "merged" from two separate receiving stations to eliminate transmission errors. CPI-??? Investigator thinks data item may be questionable.

Sample Data Record:

-----------   ----------   ---------   --------   -------------   --------------
4439-MMR        16        06-JUN-87     1246        71.971           75.119
4439-MMR        16        06-JUN-87     1247        71.783           75.260
4439-MMR        16        06-JUN-87     1248        71.595           75.401
4439-MMR        16        06-JUN-87     1249        71.407           75.542
---------------   ---------------   ---------------   ---------------
109.18            121.90            117.57           89.06
110.63            123.45            119.02           90.00
111.89            124.82            120.30           90.82
113.15            126.19            121.42           91.63
---------------   ---------------   ---------------   ---------------
-9.99             -9.99            -9.990           -9.990
-9.99             -9.99            -9.990           -9.990
-9.99             -9.99            -9.990           -9.990
-9.99             -9.99            -9.990           -9.990
----------------  ----------------  -----------------  ----------------
-9.990           -9.990            -9.990           CAL157K3
-9.990           -9.990            -9.990           CAL157K3
-9.990           -9.990            -9.990           CAL157K3
-9.990           -9.990            -9.990           CAL157K3
     REMARKS                                 FIFE_DATA_CRTFCN_CODE
-------------------------------------  ---------------------

8. Data Organization:

Data Granularity:

These are point data collected during six days in the summer of 1987 and ten days in July and August of 1989.

A general description of data granularity as it applies to the IMS appears in the EOSDIS Glossary.

Data Format:

The CD-ROM file format consists of numerical and character fields of varying length separated by commas. The character fields are enclosed with a single apostrophe. There are no spaces between the fields. Each file begins with five header records. Header records contain the following information: Record 1 Name of this file, its table name, number of records in this file, path and name of the document that describes the data in this file, and name of principal investigator for these data. Record 2 Path and filename of the previous data set, and path and filename of the next data set. (Path and filenames for files that contain another set of data taken at the same site on the same day.) Record 3 Path and filename of the previous site, and path and filename of the next site. (Path and filenames for files of the same data set taken on the same day for the previous and next sites (sequentially numbered by SITEGRID_ID)). Record 4 Path and filename of the previous date, and path and filename of the next date. (Path and filenames for files of the same data set taken at the same site for the previous and next date.) Record 5 Column names for the data within the file, delimited by commas. Record 6 Data records begin.

Each field represents one of the attributes listed in the chart in the Data Characteristics Section and described in detail in the TDF file. These fields are in the same order as in the chart.

9. Data Manipulations:


Not available at this revision.

Derivation Techniques and Algorithms:

Not available at this revision.

Data Processing Sequence:

Processing Steps:


An MMR was mounted to continually view a barium sulfate panel (the Kansas State University #3 panel in 1987 and the University of Nebraska at Lincoln #2 panel in 1989). A measurement was automatically collected every minute during the helicopter flights. In the data processing the MMR voltage values from both the helicopter and calibration panel site were corrected to radiances. If detector voltages were recorded then the detector temperature (Td) was determined from the channel 10 voltage (V10): Td = (LOG(V10) - 1.9316) / (-.04446). [1] For each channel (k) the voltage (Vk) is adjusted for temperature effects as follows: V'k = ((Ck + Tc) / (Ck + Td)) * Vk [2]


V'k = adjusted voltage for channel k
Ck = temperature adjustment coefficient for channel k
Tc= calibration temperature.

The radiance for channel k (Rk) in is calculated as follows:

Rk = ((V'k - Ok) / Gk) * 100. [3]


Rk = Radiance for channel k in [Watts] [m^-2][sr^-1][micrometer^-1]
Gk = Calibration gains for channel k
Ok = Offsets for channel k

If the detector temperature was not available, the voltage (Vk) was used in Equation 3 instead of the temperature adjusted voltage (V'k).

Processing Changes:

Not applicable.


Special Corrections/Adjustments:

Not available at this revision.

Calculated Variables:

Graphs and Plots:


10. Errors:

Sources of Error:

Not available at this revision.

Quality Assessment:

Data Validation by Source:

Comparisons have been made with the surface reflectances measured with the PARABOLA, the helicopter mounted radiometers, and the SE-590 surface and helicopter measurements.

Confidence Level/Accuracy Judgment:

On days with variable cloud conditions the data should be used with caution. The AMS incoming solar radiation data at the site or nearby site should be consulted.

On clear days the measurements fall within the precision of the instrument and errors that were discussed in previous sections.

In Markham (1987), Figures 6-12 shows the calibrated responses of the MMR instruments to the 30 cm integrating sphere kept at the Konza headquarters during FIFE. These measurements vary between instruments primarily because of the differences in the faceplates of the instruments (the instrument faceplates were placed flush with the sphere aperture thereby reflecting light back into the source). S/N 102 and 103 have flat black faceplates (identical paints), S/N 103 also had black plastic inserts screwed into the channel apertures (intended for mounting diffuser plates which were not used). S/N 117 had a white faceplate. S/N 128 had a white faceplate with the black plastic inserts. The black plastic inserts appear to be similar to the black paint in reflectance in the silicon portion of the spectrum (0.4-1.0 um) but brighter than the white paint in the SWIR portion of the spectrum. Table 8 presents the range of variability in corrected response to the sphere for 2 instruments, with and without temperature correction.

Measurement Error for Parameters:

Not available at this revision.

Additional Quality Assessments:

Not available at this revision.

Data Verification by Data Center:

The data verification performed by the ORNL DAAC deals with the quality of the data format, media, and readability. The ORNL DAAC does not make an assessment of the quality of the data itself except during the course of performing other QA procedures as described below.

The FIFE data were transferred to the ORNL DAAC via CD-ROM. These CD-ROMs are distributed by the ORNL DAAC unmodified as a set or in individual volumes, as requested. In addition, the DAAC has incorporated each of the 98 FIFE tabular datasets from the CD-ROMs into its online data holdings. Incorporation of these data involved the following steps:

Each distinct type of data (i.e. "data set" on the CD-ROM), is accompanied by a documentation file (i.e., .doc file) and a data format/structure definition file (i.e., .tdf file). The data format files on the CD-ROM are Oracle SQL commands (e.g., "create table") that can be used to set up a relational database table structure. This file provides column/variable names, character/numeric type, length, and format, and labels/comments. These SQL commands were converted to SAS code and were used to create SAS data sets and subsequently to input data files directly from the CD-ROM into a SAS dataset. During this process, file names and directory paths were captured and metadata was extracted to the extent possible electronically. No files were found to be corrupted or unreadable during the conversion process.

Additional Quality Assurance procedures were performed as follows:

As errors are discovered in the online tabular data by investigators, users, or DAAC staff, corrections are made in cooperation with the principal investigators. These corrections are then distributed to users. CD-ROM data are corrected when re-mastering occurs for replenishment of CD-ROM stock.

11. Notes:

Limitations of the Data:

Not available.

Known Problems with the Data:

Not available at his revision.

Usage Guidance:

Before using reflectance factors the incoming radiation from the AMS station at the site or nearby site should be checked for possible cloud-induced error in reflectance factors.

Any Other Relevant Information about the Study:

The filter characteristics of the MMR are described in Markham (1987 a, b, c) available on FIFE CD-ROM Volume 1 in the Scanned Documents directory.

12. Application of the Data Set:

The radiances recorded during this study can be used to monitor solar insolation and clouds.

13. Future Modifications and Plans:

The FIFE field campaigns were held in 1987 and 1989 and there are no plans for new data collection. Field work continues near the FIFE site at the Long-Term Ecological Research (LTER) Network Konza research site (i.e., LTER continues to monitor the site). The FIFE investigators are continuing to analyze and model the data from the field campaigns to produce new data products.

14. Software:

Software to access the data set is available on the all volumes of the FIFE CD-ROM set. For a detailed description of the available software see the Software Description Document.

15. Data Access:

Contact Information:

ORNL DAAC User Services
Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Telephone: (865) 241-3952
FAX: (865) 574-4665


Data Center Identification:

ORNL Distributed Active Archive Center
Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Telephone: (865) 241-3952
FAX: (865) 574-4665


Procedures for Obtaining Data:

Users may place requests by telephone, electronic mail, or FAX. Data is also available via the World Wide Web at

Data Center Status/Plans:

FIFE data are available from the ORNL DAAC. Please contact the ORNL DAAC User Services Office for the most current information about these data.

16. Output Products and Availability:

The MMR Calibration data are available on FIFE CD-ROM Volume 1. The CD-ROM filename is as follows:


Where yyyy are the four digits of the century and year (e.g., 1987). Note: capital letters indicate fixed values that appear on the CD-ROM exactly as shown here, lower case indicates characters (values) that change for each path and file.

The format used for the filenames is: ydddMULT.sfx, where y is the last digit of the year (e.g. 7 = 1987, and 9 = 1989), and ddd is the day of the year (e.g., 061 = sixty-first day in the year). The filename extension (.sfx), identifies the data set content for the file (see the Data Characteristics Section) and is equal to .MRC for this data set.

17. References:

Satellite/Instrument/Data Processing Documentation.

Barnes Engineering. 1982. Calibration and data book: Multispectral 8- channel radiometer, Barnes Engineering Company, Stamford, CT.

Jackson, R.D., D.A. Dusek, and E.E. Ezra. 1983. Calibration of the thermal channel on four Barnes model 12-1000 multi-modular radiometers. U.S. Water Conservation Laboratory Report 12, Phoenix, Arizona, pp. 75.

Jackson, R.D., S.M. Moran, P.N. Slater, and S.F. Biggar. 1987. Field calibration of reference reflectance panels. Remote Sens. Environ. 22:145-158.

Markham, B.L. 1987a. Memo on review of Phoenix calibration of MMR Channel 8. GSFC/NASA, Greenbelt, MD 20771.

Markham, B.L. 1987b. FIFE MMR Calibration Report. GSFC/NASA, Greenbelt, MD 20771.

Markham, B.L. 1989c. MMR Calibration data for FIFE 89 and related studies. GSFC/NASA, Greenbelt, MD 20771.

Journal Articles and Study Reports.

Bauer, M.E., B.F. Robinson, C. Daughtry, and L.L. Biehl. 1981. Field Measurement Workshop. Oct. 14-16, Laboratory for application of Remote Sensing, Purdue University, Lafayette, Indiana.

Blad, B.L., E.A. Walter Shea, C.J. Hays, and M.A. Mesarch. 1990. Calibration of field reference panel and radiometers used in FIFE 1989. AgMet Progress Report 90-3. Dept. of Agricultural Meteorology, Univ. of Nebraska-Lincoln, Lincoln, Nebraska 68583-0728.

Markham, B.L., F.M. Wood, and S.P. Ahmad. 1988. Radiometric calibration of the reflective bands of NS001 Thematic Mapper Simulator (TMS) and Modular Multispectral Radiometers (MMR). Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers Recent Advances in Sensors, Radiometers, and Data Processing for Remote Sensing 924:96-108.

Robinson, B.F., M.E. Bauer, D.P. DeWitt, L.F. Silva and V.C. Vanderbilt. 1979. Multiband radiometer for field research. Measurements of Optical Radiation, Proc. Soc. Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engr. 196:27-32.

Robinson, B.F., R.E. Buckley and J.A. Burgess. 1981. Performance evaluation and calibration of a modular multiband radiometer for remote sensing research. Proc. Soc. Photo-Optical Engineers 208:146- 157.

Sellers, P.J. and F.G. Hall. 1989. FIFE-89 Experiment Plan. GSFC/NASA, Greenbelt, MD 20771.

Sellers, P.J., F.G. Hall, D.E. Strebel, R.D. Kelly, S.B. Verma, B.L. Markham, B.L. Blad, D.S. Schimel, J.R. Wang, and E. Kanemasu. 1990. FIFE Interim Report. GSFC/NASA, Greenbelt, MD 20771.

Walthall, C.L., 1989. The FIFE Helicopter Mission: Summary. Laboratory for Global Remote Sensing Studies, Univ. of Maryland, College Park, MD.

Walthall, C.L. and E.M. Middleton, 1992. Assessing spatial and spectral variations in grasslands with the use of a helicopter platform. J. Geophys. Res. 97(17):18,905-18,912.

Archive/DBMS Usage Documentation.

Contact the EOS Distributed Active Archive Center (DAAC) at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), Oak Ridge, Tennessee (see the Data Center Identification Section). Documentation about using the archive and/or online access to the data at the ORNL DAAC is not available at this revision.

18. Glossary of Terms:

A general glossary for the DAAC is located at Glossary.

19. List of Acronyms:

AMS Automatic Meteorological Station DAAC Distributed Active Archive Center EOSDIS Earth Observing System Data and Information System FIFE First ISLSCP Field Experiment FIS FIFE Information System GMT Greenwich Mean Time IFOV Instantaneous Field of View IFC Intensive Field Campaign ISLSCP International Satellite Land Surface Climatology Project MMR Modular Multiband Radiometer ORNL Oak Ridge National Laboratory PAMS Portable Automatic Mesonet SWIR Shortwave Infrared URL Uniform Resource Locator

A general list of acronyms for the DAAC is available at Acronyms.

20. Document Information:

May 16, 1994 (citation revised on October 16, 2002).

Warning: This document has not been checked for technical or editorial accuracy by the FIFE Information Scientist. There may be inconsistencies with other documents, technical or editorial errors that were inadvertently introduced when the document was compiled or references to preliminary data that were not included on the final CD-ROM.

Previous versions of this document have been reviewed by the Principal Investigator, the person who transmitted the data to FIS, a FIS staff member, or a FIFE scientist generally familiar with the data.

Document Review Date:

August 5, 1996.

Document ID:



Cite this data set as follows:

Markham, B. L., and C. L. Walthall. 1994. MMR Calibration Data (FIFE). Data set . Available on-line [] from Oak Ridge National Laboratory Distributed Active Archive Center, Oak Ridge, Tennessee, U.S.A. doi:10.3334/ORNLDAAC/51. Also published in D. E. Strebel, D. R. Landis, K. F. Huemmrich, and B. W. Meeson (eds.), Collected Data of the First ISLSCP Field Experiment, Vol. 1: Surface Observations and Non-Image Data Sets. CD-ROM. National Aeronautics and Space Administration , Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland, U.S.A. (available from

Document Curator:

DAAC Staff

Document URL: