The Australian Satellite Calibration Working Group (ASCWG) was conceived in November 2011 through general recognition by the Australian EO community that calibration and validation are vital activities in support of Earth Observations from Space and the applications derived from them. The need for coordination at National and International levels was recognized. The ASCWG is coordinated jointly by Tim Malthus of CSIRO and Medhavy Thankappan of Geoscience Australia.

Statement of Purpose

  • To provide an inclusive, enduring, collective national voice and source of influence for the improved coordination of satellite calibration and validation (cal-val) activities across Australia, as a means of complementing international activity, or improving it where it is lacking.
  • The role of the ASCWG is to report to, and to be informed by activities coordinated by both Earth Observation Australia and the Australian Government Earth Observation from Space Working Group (AGEOSWG).

Terms of Reference (agreed, May 2015)

  1. To priortise and coordinate disparate cal-val activities across Australia related to Earth Observations from Space (EOS).
  2. To promote open discussion and sharing of knowledge of activities and results in cal-val across Australia and its Territories.
  3. To provide a collective national forum to highlight the importance of cal-val for the improvement of EOS and to ensure its sustainability.
  4. To identify and record plans, needs and priorities in cal-val facilities, activities and capability depending on national and international priorities.
  5. Via relevant representatives, to communicate these priorities to Australian EOS community and to the relevant national committees (e.g. EOA; AGEOSWG).
  6. To support Australian representation on international forums involved in satellite calibration and validation

Robotic measurement of reflectance, Lake Lefroy, WA.  Image supplied by Tim Malthus, CSIRO.



The ASCWG coordinated an audit of cal-val facilities and activities across Australia.  Details of this report and its recommendations can be found here.


The ASCWG last met in Canberra on 12th January 2015. A report of this meeting can be found here.  Future issues and opportunities that the ASCWG is engaged in include:

Instrumentation at Lucinda Jetty coastal observatory.  Image supplied by thomas schroeder, CSIRO

  • Engagement (nationally and internationally)
  • Funding to maintain some current calibration facilities and activities
  • Geometric and thermal calibration
  • Opportunities around Himawari 8 and Sentinel missions
  • Generic (mission agnostic) cal-val based around well instrumented and automated vicarious cal site (designed for imaging spectroscopy)
  • Development of longer-term strategy and position paper on the value of cal-val and priorities