PLEIADES ABSOLUTE CALIBRATION : INFLIGHT CALIBRATION SITES AND METHODOLOGY
In-flight calibration of space sensors once in orbit is a decisive step to be able to fulfil the mission objectives. This article presents the methods of the in-flight absolute calibration processed during the commissioning phase. Four In-flight calibration methods are used: absolute calibration, cross-calibration with reference sensors such as PARASOL or MERIS, multi-temporal monitoring and inter-bands calibration. These algorithms are based on acquisitions over natural targets such as African deserts, Antarctic sites, La Crau (Automatic calibration station) and Oceans (Calibration over molecular scattering) or also new extra-terrestrial sites such as the Moon and selected stars. After an overview of the instrument and a description of the calibration sites, it is pointed out how each method is able to address one or several aspects of the calibration. We focus on how these methods complete each other in their operational use, and how they help building a coherent set of information that addresses all aspects of in-orbit calibration. Finally, we present the perspectives that the high level of agility of PLEIADES offers for the improvement of its calibration and a better characterization of the calibration sites.