MODerate resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS), a leading heritage sensor in the fleet
of Earth Observing System for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is in
space orbit on two spacecrafts. They are the Terra (T) and Aqua (A) platforms. Both instruments
have successfully continued to operate beyond the 6 year design life time, with the T-MODIS
currently functional beyond 15 years and the A-MODIS operating beyond 13 years respectively.
The MODIS sensor characteristics include a spectral coverage from 0.41 μm – 14.4 μm, of
which wavelengths ranging from 3.7 μm – 14. 4 μm cover the thermal infrared region also
referred to as the Thermal Emissive Bands (TEBs). The TEBs is calibrated using a v-grooved
BlackBody (BB) whose temperature measurements are traceable to the National Institute of
Standards and Technology temperature scales. The TEBs calibration based on the onboard BB is
extremely important for its high radiometric fidelity. In this paper, we provide a complete
characterization of the lifetime instrument performance of both MODIS instruments in terms of
the sensor gain, the Noise Equivalent difference Temperature, key instrument telemetry such as
the BB lifetime trends, the instrument temperature trends, the Cold Focal Plane telemetry and
finally, the total assessed calibration uncertainty of the TEBs.