Radiometric flight results from the HyperSpectral Imager for Climate Science (HySICS)
Abstract. Long-term monitoring of the Earth-reflected solar spectrum is necessary for discerning and attributing changes in climate. High radiometric accuracy enables such monitoring over decadal timescales with non-overlapping instruments, and high precision enables trend detection on shorter timescales. The HyperSpectral Imager for Climate Science (HySICS) is a visible and near-infrared spatial/spectral imaging spectrometer intended to ultimately achieve ∼ 0.2 % radiometric accuracies of Earth scenes from space, providing an order-of-magnitude improvement over existing space-based imagers. On-orbit calibrations from measurements of spectral solar irradiances acquired by direct views of the Sun enable radiometric calibrations with superior long-term stability than is currently possible with any manmade spaceflight light source or detector. Solar and lunar observations enable in-flight focal-plane array (FPA) flat-fielding and other instrument calibrations. The HySICS has demonstrated this solar cross-calibration technique for future spaceflight instrumentation via two high-altitude balloon flights. The second of these two flights acquired high-radiometric-accuracy measurements of the ground, clouds, the Earth's limb, and the Moon. Those results and the details of the uncertainty analyses of those flight data are described.