FSF User Group

The Field Spectroscopy Facility User Group provides a selection of useful utilities designed to facilitate the handling and processing of data recorded by field-portable spectroradiometers. The utilities include a set of MATLAB scripts for importing and processing spectral data as well as spectral response functions for various satellite and airborne instruments to allow comparison of these instruments' spectra with field spectra.

All the utilities and data are freely available to the user community from this page. We hope that other users will contribute any code or programs they have for spectral data handling and processing, which may be useful to others.

If you have any questions regarding the User Group, or wish to contribute any utilities for inclusion in this resource, please contact us. If you have questions or comments about specific programs in this resource, please contact the contributor. And don't forget, if you use any of the resources here, please acknowledge their use in any resulting publications!

Python scripts for 6S and ProSAIL

Py6S is a Python interface to the respected 6S atmospheric Radiative Transfer Model which makes it significantly easier to use and adds useful new functionality. All of the functionality of the 6S model is supported, and various helper methods are provided to make common operations - such as running a simulation for a number of angles, or for all of the bands of a satellite sensor - very easy. Field spectroscopy data can also be imported and used to configure the ground reflectance of the model, allowing simulations of the at-sensor radiance that would be measured for a set of field spectral measurements. Py6S is fully integrated with the Python NumPy, pandas and Matplotlib modules to allow easy plotting of results and import/export of data. The code for Py6S can be accessed here.

PyProSAIL is a very simple Python interface to the ProSAIL combined leaf and canopy reflectance model. In a similar manner to Py6S, it provides a far nicer interface to the model, and allows easy plotting of the results. PyProSAIL can also be integrated very easily with Py6S, for example, to simulate how changes in leaf properties, and thus the reflectance of the canopy, would be manifested in the radiance received at a satellite. The code for PyProSAIL can be accessed here.

FSF Post Processing Toolbox for MATLAB

The Field Spectroscopy Facility (FSF) Post Processing Toolbox provides functions for importing and processing spectra in MATLAB. MATLAB is a numerical computing environment and processing language that enables flexible handling, plotting, analysis and processing of spectral data.

Import functions

The toolbox can import data from the file formats used by a number of portable spectroradiometers into the MATLAB workspace. The suported file formats are shown in the table below.

Supported file formats

Manufacturer Instrument File format Supported?
Analytical Spectral Devices FieldSpec Pro ASCII Yes
Binary Partially*
FieldSpec 3 ASCII Yes
Binary Partially*
Spectra Vista Corporation GER 1500 Signature Yes
GER 3700 Signature Yes
HR-1024 Signature Yes
Ocean Optics USB spectrometers OOI Binary Partially
* We recommend converting binary files to text files with ViewSpec Pro which is freely available from ASD Support Central.

Processing functions

The toolbox provides a range of additional processing functions to:

Get the toolbox

Installation instructions

  1. Unzip the file.
  2. Copy the FSFPostProcessing1.3.0 folder into a location accessible from MATLAB (e.g. onto the server on which MATLAB runs).
  3. Start MATLAB.
  4. Add the folder to the MATLAB path using the search path tool.


Documentation is provided in a User Guide (PDF file). Additional help is available within MATLAB in the Help Browser.

Contributor information

These post processing scripts were written my Alasdair Mac Arthur and Iain Robinson. We welcome comments, suggestions, bug reports and user-contributed features.

Spectral response functions

Spectral response functions (bands) are provided for a number of instruments. These can be convolved with field spectra for comparison, ground truth or calibration purposes. The files can be loaded into MATLAB using the Post Processing Toolbox described above.

The Field Spectroscopy Facility does not gaurantee the accuracy or vailidty of these data. Please use them with care! We welcome all corrections, additions and contributions; please email iain@physics.org.

File Instrument
ALI Advanced land imager
ASTER Advanced spaceborne thermal emission and reflection radiometer
ATSR-1 Along track scanning radiometer 1
ATSR-2 Along track scanning radiometer 2
AVHRR Advanced very high resolution radiometer
CHRIS Compact high resolution imaging specrometer
CZCS Coastal zone color scanner
IKONOS2 Ikonos earth observation satellite
Kompsat2 Korea multi-purpose satellite 2
Landsat4TM Landsat 4 thematic mapper
Landsat5TM Landsat 5 thematic mapper
Landsat7TM Landsat 7 thematic mapper
LandsatMSS Landsat multispectral scanner
MERIS Medium resolution imaging spectrometer
MISR Multi-angle imaging spectroradiometer
MODISAqua Moderate resolution imaging spectrometer flight model 1
MODISTerra Moderate resolution imaging spectrometer protoflight model
OCTS Ocean color temperature sensor
OSMI Ocean scanning multispectral imager
POLDER Polarization and directionality of the earth's reflectances
SeaWiFS Sea-viewing wide field-of-view sensor

Contributer information

These sets of spectral response functions were provided by Michael Steven and Tim Malthus.

Disclaimer for FSF user group resources

By providing these resources to the user community the Field Spectroscopy Facility (FSF) takes no responsibility for the use of the software or any other resources provided on this webpage. While all reasonable steps have been taken by FSF to ensure that the resources contributed to this group perform the task described, the FSF cannot be held responsible for any problems experienced while using the datasets. Any questions or technical issues relating to an individual item should be directed to the original contributor, and not directly to the FSF. The original contributor retains the IPR for their software/program.