Lights on the Water? Accumulating VIIRS boat detection grids in Southeast Asia spanning 2012–2021

Payne Institute Earth Observation Group Christopher D. Elvidge, Tilottama Ghosh, Namrata Chatterjee, and Mikhail Zhizhin write about how it has been known since the 1970s that heavily lit fishing boats can be detected with nighttime visible low-light imaging data collected by polar-orbiting meteorological sensors (Croft, 1979). The two-sensor series having low-light imaging capabilities include the U.S. Air Force Defense Meteorological Satellite Program (DMSP) Operational Linescan System (OLS) and the NASA/NOAA Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS).  The VIIRS sensor provides key improvements (Elvidge et al., 2013) in low-light imaging from 2012 to the present and the pixel resolution (742 m × 742 m) is finer and has in-flight calibration to radiance units.  The VBD data were produced in near real-time and the nightly record extends back to April 2012 in Asia. In addition to the nightly product, the EOG also made monthly and annual summary grids.  Starting on page 33. July 26, 2023.