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Ma, J., Guo, J., Ahmad, S., Li, Z., & Hong, J. (2020). Constructing a New Inter-Calibration Method for DMSP-OLS and NPP-VIIRS Nighttime Light. Remote Sensing, 12(6), 937.
Abstract: The anthropogenic nighttime light (NTL) data that are acquired by satellites can characterize the intensity of human activities on the ground. It has been widely used in urban development assessment, socioeconomic estimate, and other applications. However, currently, the two main sensors, Defense Meteorological Satellite Program’s Operational Linescan System (DMSP-OLS) and Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership Satellite’s Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (NPP-VIIRS), provide inconsistent data. Hence, the application of NTL for long-term analysis is hampered. This study constructed a new inter-calibration method for DMSP-OLS and NPP-VIIRS nighttime light to solve this problem. First, NTL data were processed to obtain vicarious site across China. By comparing different candidate models, it is discovered the Biphasic Dose Response (BiDoseResp) model, which is a weighted combination of sigmoid functions, can best perform the regression between DMSP-OLS and logarithmically transformed NPP-VIIRS. The coefficient of determination of BiDoseResp model reaches 0.967. It’s residual sum of squares is 6.136×105 , which is less than 6.199×105 of Logistic function. After obtaining the BiDoseResp-calibrated VIIRS (BDRVIIRS), we smoothed it by a filter with optimal parameters to maximize the consistency. The result shows that the consistency of NTL data is greatly enhanced after calibration. In 2013, the correlation coefficient between DMSP-OLS and original NPP-VIIRS data in the China region is only 0.621, while that reaches to 0.949 after calibration. Finally, a consistent NTL dataset of China from 1992 to 2018 was produced. When compared with the existing methods, our method is applicable to the full dynamic range of DMSP-OLS. Besides, it is more suitable for country or larger scale areas. It is expected that this method can greatly facilitate the development of research that is based on the historical NTL archive.