I have GOES 15 satellite image data (GVAR_IMG) for a project that I am working on. The files are end in .BAND_01, .BAND_02, etc.

I use the Panoply tool to view these files, but am looking for an online tool or software to convert this data into solar irradiance values.


1 Answer 1


It is far too complex a process to estimate surface irradiances utilising satellite data. No software takes just satellite images as input and gives out irradiances.

I am pasting link to an article that describes algorithm to convert geostationary satellite measurements to surface reaching solar irradiance.

Gadhavi et al., 2008; doi: 10.1029/2007JD009308

To summarise following are most important aspects in estimating surface radiation budget.

  • Calibration constants to convert photon counts measured by satellite sensor to radiance
  • Parameterisation scheme to convert narrow band satellite radiances to broadband radiances.
  • surface optical characteristics as function of wavelength, sun elevation and season
  • Geophysical parameters like cloud amount, aerosol amount, ozone, etc. (Essentially these are the real satellite input in whole process).
  • Radiative transfer model to estimate irradiances using inputs received from satellite and other sources.

There are few web-site where one can directly get final output of irradiance values. See following link. https://data.noaa.gov/dataset/surface-radiation-budget-surfrad-network-1-hour-observations


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