The VIIRS Day/Night Band: A Flicker Meter in Space?

Payne Institute Earth Observation Group Director Christopher Elvidge, Researcher Mikhail Zhizhin, David Keith, Steven D. Miller, Researcher Feng Chi Hsu, Researcher Tilottama Ghosh, Sharolyn J. Anderson,Christian K. Monrad, Director Morgan Bazilian, Jay Taneja, Paul C. Sutton, John Barentine, William S. Kowalik, Christopher C. M. Kyba, Dee W. Pack, and Faculty Fellow Dorit Hammerling write about how the VIIRS day/night band (DNB) high gain stage (HGS) pixel effective dwell time is in the range of 2–3 milliseconds (ms), which is about one third of the flicker cycle present in lighting powered by alternating current. Thus, if flicker is present, it induces random fluctuations in nightly DNB radiances. This results in increased variance in DNB temporal profiles.  Over time, there is a trend towards the reduction of flicker in outdoor lighting through the replacement of HID with low-flicker LED sources. This study indicates that the effects of LED conversions on the brightness and steadiness of outdoor lighting can be analyzed with VIIRS DNB temporal profiles.  March 9, 2022.