Dried-Out Lake Used as Massive White Balance for Satellites

Illustration for article titled Dried-Out Lake Used as Massive White Balance for Satellites

Just like when photographers use a piece of white paper (or gray card, whichever they prefer) to calibrate their cameras, British scientists are using this dried-out Turkish lake to set the white balance of Earth observation satellites.


Lake Tuz, in south Turkey, dries to the stark-white you see in the photo above every July - August, joining seven other locations around the world which are being used by scientists to check satellites' cameras are in check.

From the 14th - 25th of August, scientists will be analyzing the whiteness and reflectivity of Lake Tuz from the ground, and comparing it to what they've snapped up above. [NPL via PopSci]

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Anti-Star Super-Christ

I thought you had to have 18% gray to get an accurate white balance? I mean, I know I can white balance off a pure white reference in lightroom, but I thought 18% gray was the most accurate? Perhaps they know the true color of the lake, then wrote an algorithm to calibrate off how it is viewed from space?