An atmospheric correction tool has been developed for public web site access for the Landsat-5 and Landsat-7 thermal band. The Atmospheric Correction Parameter Calculator uses the National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP) modeled atmospheric global profiles for a particular date, time and location as input. Using commercially-available MODTRAN software and a suite of integration algorithms, the site-specific atmospheric transmission, and upwelling and downwelling radiances are derived. These calculated parameters can be applied to single band thermal imagery from Landsat-5 Thematic Mapper (TM) or Landsat-7 Enhanced Thematic Mapper Plus (ETM+) to infer an at-surface kinetic temperature for all the pixels in the scene. Given the TM and ETM+ Band-6 instrument calibration uncertainties in Top-of-Atmosphere temperature are ±1.0 and ±0.6K, respectively, then the corresponding uncertainties in the inferred surface temperatures are approximately ±2-3K.

Publication Date



"An Atmospheric Correction Parameter Calculator for a single thermal band earth-sensing instrument," Proceedings of the 2003 IEEE International Geoscience and Remote Sensing Symposium (IGARRS '03). The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. Held in Toulouse, France: July 2003. ©2003 Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). Personal use of this material is permitted. However, permission to reprint/republish this material for advertising or promotional purposes or for creating new collective works for resale or redistribution to servers or lists, or to reuse any copyrighted component of this work in other works must be obtained from the IEEE. This material is presented to ensure timely dissemination of scholarly and technical work. Copyright and all rights therein are retained by authors or by other copyright holders. All persons copying this information are expected to adhere to the terms and constraints invoked by each author's copyright. In most cases, these works may not be reposted without the explicit permission of the copyright holder. Thanks to the Landsat vicarious calibration teams at Rochester Institute of Technology and NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory for use of their data and methods. ISBN:0-7803-7929-2Note: imported from RIT’s Digital Media Library running on DSpace to RIT Scholar Works in February 2014.

Document Type


Department, Program, or Center

Chester F. Carlson Center for Imaging Science (COS)


RIT – Main Campus