ACOLITE is a generic processor developed at RBINS for atmospheric correction and processing for coastal and inland water applications. It currently supports many sensors, among others, Landsat (5/7/8), Sentinel-2 (A/B), Sentinel-3 (A/B), PlanetScope, Pléiades, and WorldView. ACOLITE performs the atmospheric correction by default using the "dark spectrum fitting" approach (Vanhellemont and Ruddick, 2018, 2021, Vanhellemont, 2019a, 2019b, 2020) but can be configured to use the "exponential extrapolation" (Vanhellemont and Ruddick, 2014, 2015, 2016).

Features include the extraction of rectangular regions of interest (defined by bounding coordinates), calculation of reflectance derived parameters, and the generation of RGB images before and after atmospheric correction. Products are output as geolocated datasets in a NetCDF file and can be exported as GeoTIFF and PNG images.

The dark spectrum fitting is described in the following publications:

Vanhellemont, Q., Ruddick, K. 2018. Atmospheric correction of metre-scale optical satellite data for inland and coastal water applications. Remote Sens. Environ. (

Vanhellemont, Q., 2019. Adaptation of the dark spectrum fitting atmospheric correction for aquatic applications of the Landsat and Sentinel-2 archives. Remote Sensing of Environment 225, 175–192. (

Vanhellemont Q. 2019b Daily metre-scale mapping of water turbidity using CubeSat imagery. Optics Express, Vol. Vol. 27 Issue 20 pp. A1372–A1399. DOI:

Vanhellemont, Q., 2020. Sensitivity analysis of the dark spectrum fitting atmospheric correction for metre-and decametre-scale satellite imagery using autonomous hyperspectral radiometry. Optics Express28(20), pp.29948-29965. (

Vanhellemont Q. & Ruddick K. 2021 Atmospheric correction of Sentinel-3/OLCI data for mapping of suspended particulate matter and chlorophyll-a concentration in Belgian turbid coastal waters. Remote Sensing of Environment, Vol. 256 p. 112284. DOI:

The exponential atmospheric correction is fully described in Vanhellemont & Ruddick (2014, 2015, 2016):

Vanhellemont, Q., Ruddick, K., 2014. Turbid wakes associated with offshore wind turbines observed with Landsat 8. Remote Sens. Environ. 145, 105–115. (

Vanhellemont, Q., Ruddick, K., 2015. Advantages of high quality SWIR bands for ocean colour processing: examples from Landsat-8. Remote Sens. Environ. 161, 89–106. (

Vanhellemont Q. & Ruddick K. 2016. ACOLITE For Sentinel-2: Aquatic Applications of MSI imagery. Submitted for the proceedings of the 2016 ESA Living Planet Symposium held in Prague, Czech Republic, 9-13 May 2016, ESA Special Publication SP-740. Download

The latest binary version and manual can be found on the ACOLITE repository

Questions? Visit our ACOLITE forum »

ACOLITE is provided by RBINS as an experimental tool, without explicit or implied warranty. Use of the program is at your own discretion and risk.

ACOLITE development was funded by the Belgian Science Policy Office STEREO program under contracts SR/37/135 (JELLYFOR project) and SR/00/325 (PONDER project), and by the European Community's Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007-2013) under grant agreement n° 606797 (HIGHROC project).

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