National Aeronautics and Space Administration


Date of this Version



Published in Remote Sensing of Environment 83 (2002) 135–148.


With the launch of NASA’s Terra satellite and the MODerate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS), operational Bidirectional Reflectance Distribution Function (BRDF) and albedo products are now being made available to the scientific community. The MODIS BRDF/Albedo algorithm makes use of a semiempirical kernel-driven bidirectional reflectance model and multidate, multispectral data to provide global 1-km gridded and tiled products of the land surface every 16 days. These products include directional hemispherical albedo (black-sky albedo), bihemispherical albedo (white-sky albedo), Nadir BRDF-Adjusted surface Reflectances (NBAR), model parameters describing the BRDF, and extensive quality assurance information. The algorithm has been consistently producing albedo and NBAR for the public since July 2000. Initial evaluations indicate a stable BRDF/Albedo Product, where, for example, the spatial and temporal progression of phenological characteristics is easily detected in the NBAR and albedo results. These early beta and provisional products auger well for the routine production of stable MODIS-derived BRDF parameters, nadir reflectances, and albedos for use by the global observation and modeling communities.