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© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: data description paper 19 Dec 2019

Submitted as: data description paper | 19 Dec 2019

Review status
This preprint is currently under review for the journal ESSD.

Improving the usability of the MISR L1B2 Georectified Radiance Product (2000–present) in land surface applications

Michel M. Verstraete1, Linda A. Hunt2, and Veljko M. Jovanovic3 Michel M. Verstraete et al.
  • 1Global Change Institute (GCI), University of the Witwatersrand, Braamfontein, Republic of South Africa
  • 2Science Systems and Applications, Inc. (SSAI), Hampton, VA 23666-5845, USA
  • 3NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), Pasadena, CA 91109, USA

Abstract. The Multi-angle Imaging SpectroRadiometer (MISR) instrument on NASA's Terra platform has been acquiring global measurements of the spectro-directional reflectance of the Earth since 24 February 2000 and is still operational as of this writing. The primary radiometric data product generated by this instrument is known as the Level 1B2 Georectified Radiance Product (GRP): it contains the 36 radiometric measurements acquired by the instrument's 9 cameras, each observing the planet in 4 spectral bands. The product version described here is projected on a digital elevation model and is available from the NASA Langley Atmospheric Science Data Center (ASDC) ( (Jovanovic et al., 1999). The MISR instrument is highly reliable. Nevertheless, its on-board computer occasionally becomes overwhelmed by the amount of raw observations coming from the cameras' focal planes, especially when switching into or out of Local Mode acquisitions that are often requested in conjunction with field campaigns. Whenever this occurs, one or more lines of data are dropped while the computer resets and readies itself for accepting new data. Although this type of data loss is minuscule compared to the total amount of measurements acquired, and is marginal for atmospheric studies dealing with large areas and long periods of time, this outcome can be crippling for land surface studies that focus on the detailed analysis of particular scenes at specific times. This paper describes the problem, reports on the prevalence of missing data, proposes a practical solution to optimally estimate the values of the missing data and provides evidence of the performance of the algorithm through specific examples in South Africa. The software to process MISR L1B2 GRP data products as described here is openly available to the community from the GitHub web site or

Michel M. Verstraete et al.

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Michel M. Verstraete et al.

Michel M. Verstraete et al.


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Latest update: 21 Feb 2020
Short summary
The MISR L1B2 Georectified Radiance Product (GRP) is the primary calibrated and georeferenced radiation measurement of that instrument. It contains missing values that tend to cluster in space and time. This paper shows how to reconstruct data sets with most or all missing values replaced by reasonable estimates. The MISR GRP product is openly available from NASA and the software to update this product is publicly available under the MIT license.
The MISR L1B2 Georectified Radiance Product (GRP) is the primary calibrated and georeferenced...