EGU24-13262, updated on 09 Mar 2024
EGU General Assembly 2024
© Author(s) 2024. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Intercomparison of Landsat OLI and Sentinel 2 MSI performance

Esad Micijevic1, Cody Anderson1, Julia Barsi2, Rajagopalan Rengarajan3, MD. Obaidul Haque3, and Joshua Mann3
Esad Micijevic et al.
  • 1USGS, United States of America (
  • 2NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Code 618, Greenbelt, MD, USA
  • 3KBR, Contractor to the U.S. Geological Survey, Earth Resources Observation and Science Center, Sioux Falls, SD, 57030 USA

For Landsat 8 and Landsat 9 (L8 and L9), the radiometric stability of the Operational Land Imager (OLI) is monitored using two solar diffusers, three sets of stimulation lamps, and regular lunar collects. Consistent response to the multiple calibrators provides high confidence in the radiometric characterization of the imagers over time and calibration parameters needed to maintain the stability of image products. After 11 years on orbit, all spectral bands in Landsat 8 OLI are stable within 1.5%, while Landsat 9 OLI degradation over its 2.5 years of life remains within 0.3% across all bands.

The MultiSpectral Instruments (MSIs) onboard Sentinel 2A and 2B (S2A and S2B) satellites were designed with 8 similar spectral bands (out of 13) as the OLIs, which created opportunities to combine data from both types of instruments and obtain higher temporal frequency of Earth observations. To ensure proper interoperability among the different instruments, they need to be radiometrically cross-calibrated and consistently georeferenced. We use coincident acquisitions over Pseudo Invariant Calibration Sites (PICS) to monitor the radiometric calibration consistency and stability of the instruments over time. For geometry, Landsat and Sentinel 2 images acquired within a month of each other over the same ground targets were used to assess the co-registration accuracy between the sensor products.

Our results show a general agreement in radiometry of all four instruments over their lifetimes to within 1%. Following the launch of MSI instruments, the initial geometric co-registration assessment between the MSI instruments and the Landsat 8 OLI instrument showed more than 12 m Circular Error (CE90), larger than a Sentinel 2, 10m, pixel. To further improve co-registration and, thus, interoperability of the four instruments, Landsat Collection-2 products use a geometric reference that was harmonized using the Global Reference Image (GRI). The GRI is a dataset consisting of geometrically refined Sentinel 2 images with an absolute accuracy better than 6 m globally. After adopting a common geometric reference in the generation of Landsat and Sentinel 2 products, our assessment of geometric co-registration of the Landsat and Sentinel terrain-corrected products shows a CE90 error of less than 6 m.

Multiple efforts have also been made to validate the accuracy of surface reflectance products from both Landsat and Sentinel 2. In-situ measurements have been made during overpasses of L8, L9, S2A, and S2B using various methods. These measurements also show consistency between all the sensors and can also be used for other missions.

How to cite: Micijevic, E., Anderson, C., Barsi, J., Rengarajan, R., Haque, MD. O., and Mann, J.: Intercomparison of Landsat OLI and Sentinel 2 MSI performance, EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-13262,, 2024.