November 2013


Springtime temp, 2090
Nov 13, 2013NASA Brings Earth Science ‘Big Data’ to the Cloud with Amazon Web Services

[Reported by Steve Cole and Ruth Marlaire, NASA] NASA and Amazon Web Services Inc. (AWS) of Seattle, Wash., are making a large collection of NASA climate and Earth science satellite data available to research and educational users through the [...]

Landsat 8 image of Rim Fire
Nov 7, 2013Wildfire Science Returns to Rim Fire

[Reported by Leslie Gordon, USGS] Although dousing the flames was foremost in people's minds during the recent Rim Fire in Stanislaus National Forest and Yosemite National Park, U.S. Geological Survey scientific work continues well after the [...]

Marx's Study area
Oct 30, 2013Using Landsat to Detect Human Rights Violations

Over 2500 villages were destroyed during six years of conflict in Darfur between 2002 and 2008. Dr. Andrew Marx, a 2013 fellow at the Center for the Prevention of Genocide at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, has found that this type of [...]

USGS EROS
Oct 28, 2013Landsat Science Team at USGS EROS Center

The Landsat Science Team Meeting is being held at the USGS EROS Center in Sioux Falls, SD this week from Tuesday through Thursday. During the meeting, the science team members will provide an update of their ongoing Landsat research, discuss [...]

Upcoming Change in Landsat 8 Radiometric Calibration
Oct 25, 2013Upcoming Change in Landsat 8 Radiometric Calibration

In the near future, calibration changes will be made that will affect the Thermal Infrared Sensor (TIRS) Band 10 and all of the Operational Land Imager (OLI) bands onboard Landsat 8. The calibration for TIRS Band 10 will be lowered by a constant [...]

Landsat 8 image of Mount Jefferson
Oct 23, 2013How To Make a True-Color Landsat 8 Image

Robert Simmon from NASA's Earth Observatory has provided a detailed tutorial on creating true-color images using Landsat 8 data on his Elegant Figures blog. (Thanks Rob!) + How To Make a True-Color Landsat 8 Image Note: NASA and USGS do not Read [...]

Allen Pope
Oct 22, 2013Studying Ice and Snow with Landsat 8

Allen Pope, a research assistant at the National Snow & Ice Data Center, recently created this video showing some of the ways Landsat 8 data are used to study the cryosphere. . Ice & Snow with Landsat 8 from Allen Pope on Vimeo. Read more [...]

Landsat Update: Upcoming Landsat 8 Reprocessing
Oct 21, 2013Landsat Update: Upcoming Landsat 8 Reprocessing

Within the next several weeks, all Landsat 8 data that have been acquired since achieving WRS-2 operational orbit will be reprocessed using updated calibration parameters for OLI and TIRS data. During this time, all online products will be [...]

Aerial view of glacial outwash plain in Iceland
Oct 18, 2013Surveying Ice and Fire: The First Map of All of Iceland’s Glaciers and Subglacier Volcanic Calderas Released

For the first time, all of Iceland’s glaciers are shown on a single map, produced by the Icelandic Meteorological Office (IMO), in collaboration with the U. S. Geological Survey (USGS) and Iceland Geosurvey. The map is the first to incorporate [...]

Landsat Data Processing Resumes
Oct 17, 2013Landsat Data Processing Resumes

Processing has resumed for Landsat 8 and Landsat 7 data acquired from October 1, 2013 to October 17, 2013. Scenes will become available for download from EarthExplorer and GloVis as processing is completed. Source: USGS Landsat Program Read more [...]

Landsat 7 Thermal Band Calibration Update
Sep 27, 2013Landsat 7 Thermal Band Calibration Update

Effective October 1, 2013, the calibration of the Landsat 7 Enhanced Thematic Mapper Plus (ETM+) Band 6 will be updated to correct a bias error that has been present in all thermal data since the last calibration update in 2010. Vicarious [...]

Child looking at Landsat image
Sep 27, 2013Mapping the World with Landsat

Speeding around the Earth at 16,800 mph (27,000 kph), two Landsat satellites are quietly, expertly watching and recording changes in Earth’s lands from space. They are gathering data for people to make maps–all kinds of wonderful maps–of our [...]

NASA Launches Study of New Global Land Imaging System
Sep 17, 2013NASA Launches Study of New Global Land Imaging System

NASA and the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) will kick off a quest for an innovative and affordable space-based system to extend the Landsat satellite data record for decades to come with a public forum and call for ideas Wednesday, Sept. 18. The [...]

UNESCO photo of water discovered in Kenya
Sep 12, 2013Vast Water Reserves Found in Drought-Prone Northern Kenya

Large underground water reserves have been found in Turkana, one of Kenya’s driest and poorest regions. The discoveries were made by the natural resources exploration firm, Radar Technologies International, during the course of a survey of [...]

John Schott
Sep 11, 2013Meet Dr. John Schott, RIT Innovation Hall of Fame Inductee

This past May, Dr. John Schott, a longtime Landsat Science team member, was inducted into the Rochester Institute of Technology's 2013 Innovation Hall of Fame. RIT put together this retrospective video about Schott's long career in imaging [...]

ESA
Sep 5, 2013ESA Makes Never-Before-Seen Landsat Data Available

Thousands of never-before-seen data products from the U.S. Landsat satellites acquired over 30 years have been released for online access. In addition, the newest data over Europe from the latest satellite in the series, Landsat 8, are now [...]

Safflower
Sep 4, 2013Landsat Impedes Crop Insurance Fraud

With unbiased Landsat imagery as evidence, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit affirmed an earlier jury-conviction of a northern California farmer found guilty on 16 counts of filing false federal crop insurance claims—scheming the [...]

Location of Rim Fire
Sep 3, 2013Landsat 8 Satellite Sees Rim Fire from Space

Two recent images from the Landsat 8 satellite compare land conditions in the vicinity of Yosemite National Park before and during the Rim Fire. The images, from August 15 before the fire began and from August 31, can be contrasted and [...]

Burn severity map for Wallow Fire
Aug 29, 2013Landsat Revisits Old Flames in Fire Trends

The Wallow Fire burned over 500,000 acres, making it the largest fire in Arizona history, to date. It is one of many large fires that fire managers and researchers have seen scorch forests nationwide since the early 2000s. "We have entered a new [...]

Mauri Pelto in the field
Aug 27, 2013Meet Mauri Pelto, Glaciologist

At a small college in Dudley, Mass., a professor of Environmental Science is doing big things. Glaciologist Mauri Pelto is using Landsat imagery to monitor glaciers around the world from his office at Nichols College. Fieldwork is an essential [...]

13 Million Downloads and Counting
Aug 26, 201313 Million Downloads and Counting

@USGSLandsat reported today that Landsat image downloads by data users have reached 13 million. The last million downloads occurred over a period of just nine weeks. Read more [...]

BAER soil scientist
Aug 21, 2013After a Fire, Before a Flood

While the 138,000-acre Silver Fire still smoldered, forest restoration specialists were on the job. They analyzed maps created using Landsat satellite data to determine where the burn destroyed vegetation and exposed soil—and where to focus [...]

Burning structure in Black Forest fire
Aug 9, 2013NASA ‘Fire Towers’ in Space Watch for Wildfires

The Black Forest wildfire this June was one of the most destructive in Colorado history, in terms of homes lost. It started close to houses and quickly spread through the ponderosa pine canopies on the rolling hills near Colorado Springs. The [...]

Leonard Lopate
Aug 8, 2013Environmental Monitoring with Public Domain Satellites

WNYC's Leonard Lopate talks with SkyTruth president, John Amos, about using public domain satellite imagery, such as Landsat, to monitor the environment. SkyTruth uses all types of satellite imagery to monitor environmental changes and [...]

National Academies Press logo
Aug 8, 2013NRC Report “Landsat and Beyond” Available

A prepublication version of the National Research Council's "Landsat and Beyond: Sustaining and Enhancing the Nation's Land Imaging Program" report is now available from the National Academies Press. Their report description: In 1972 NASA [...]

Landsat 8 Satellite
Aug 8, 2013Landsat 8 Status Update for Aug. 8, 2013

Landsat 8 officially began normal operations on May 30, 2013, when the leadership for satellite operations transferred from NASA to the U.S. Geological Survey. With the hand-off, the name of the satellite changed from the Landsat Data Continuity [...]

ESA video
Jul 31, 2013Free Sentinel Earth Observation Data on the Horizon

Space News has reported that the European Commission has okayed free access to Sentinel data. This follows a recent European Space Agency-commissioned study that concluded that data from the Sentinel satellites should be public sector [...]

Burning fields in Indonesia
Jul 30, 2013Using Landsat 8 to Locate Fires in Indonesia

In June, air pollution over Singapore and Malaysia spiked as forests in neighboring Sumatra (Indonesia) burned. Using NASA's daily fire alerts and official national maps, the fires were located in the vicinity of oil palm and acacia tree [...]

Landsat 8
Jul 30, 2013Data User Advisory

UPDATE: ENVI HotFix now available. Visit www.exelisvis.com for download instructions. + ENVI 5 SP3 Hotfix for Landsat 8 Note: NASA and USGS do not endorse the use of any particular image processing software. July 24, 2013 • This is a Read more [...]

Jul 16, 2013USGS Makes Landsat 8 QA Data Tool Available

The USGS now offers a tool that accurately translates and interprets Landsat 8 OLI Quality Assessment (QA) bits, within the Landsat LDOPE Toolbelt. Based on functionality developed by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) [...]

Jul 11, 2013Using Landsat to Study Juneau Icefield

Glaciologist Mauri Pelto, a professor at Nichols College in Massachusetts uses Landsat to look at nearly three decades of glacier change on the Juneau Icefield in his recent blog post, From a Glacier's Perspective. He begins: The Juneau Icefield [...]

Jul 8, 2013Old Data Being Made Newly Available by USGS

As part of the Landsat Global Archive Consolidation effort, the first international Multi-Spectral Scanner (MSS) data from Canada has been added to the archive! MSS data, captured by the first Landsat missions, are often the most difficult to [...]

Jul 1, 2013All Early Landsat 8 Data Available From USGS

Source: USGS Landsat July 1, 2013 • Nearly 10,000 Landsat 8 scenes collected by the OLI and/or TIRS sensors, including the Landsat 7 underfly images before the satellite achieved operational orbit, are available to download [...]

Landsat 5
Jun 26, 2013Historic Landsat 5 Mission Ends

Source: Holli Riebeek June 24, 2013 • When the Landsat 5 satellite launched on March 1, 1984, it was expected to last at least three years. More than 29 years and 2.5 million images later, the U.S. Geological Survey issued the final command to [...]

Jun 15, 2013MapBox Puts Landsat 8 Bands to Work

June 15, 2013 • MapBox imagery specialist Charlie Loyd takes a detailed look at Landsat 8's spectral bands. In his MapBox post he gives you an idea of the different types of information provided by each band. + Read full post + PDF version Read [...]

Jun 5, 2013Final Command Sent to Landsat 5

Source: USGS Landsat June 5, 2013 • For over 29 years, commands have been sent to Landsat 5 for acquisitions, orbital maneuvers, to fix problems, and even to avoid space junk. Today at 11:34 EDT, the final command was sent to Landsat 5, to turn [...]

May 17, 2013Surface Reflectance is Now Available

Source: USGS Landsat May 17, 2013 •Surface reflectance is now available as a Landsat climate data record (CDR) product through EarthExplorer. These products are generated on-demand from Landsat 5 TM and Landsat 7 ETM+ data and are also available [...]

May 15, 2013New Animation Marks Arrival of NASA’s LDCM Satellite to its Final Orbit

Source: Holli Riebeek, NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center   May 15, 2013 • Have you ever wondered what it might be like to watch the world fly by beneath you from space? That dream is elusive for most of us, but the Landsat Data Continuity [...]

May 9, 2013Landsat Images Provide the Gold Standard for New Earth Applications

Images from Landsat satellites provided free to the public by the Department of the Interior's U.S. Geological Survey were the starting points for “a new breakthrough” reported today by Time and announced on the Official Google Blog. Using its [...]

LDCM launch
May 8, 2013Commissioning the Landsat Data Continuity Mission

On the beautifully clear Monday morning of Feb. 11, 2013, the Landsat Data Continuity Mission made its way from California’s Vandenberg Air Force Base to low Earth orbit. The more than 1,000 Landsat scientists, engineers, data users, and fans [...]

May 2, 2013LDCM Status Update for May 2, 2013

Source: NASA May 2, 2013 • All spacecraft and instrument systems continue to perform normally. LDCM continues to collect more than 400 scenes per day and the U.S. Geological Survey Data Processing and Archive System continues to test its ability [...]

LDCM image of Crater Lake region
May 1, 2013Landsat Data Continuity Mission on WRS-2: Sample Data Available

Source: USGS Landsat May 1, 2013 • Since launch, the Landsat Data Continuity Mission (LDCM) has been gradually making its way to operational orbit (called WRS-2) at 705 km (438 miles) above the surface of Earth. Check out this beautifulsample [...]

May 1, 2013Landsat 5 MSS 2012-2013 Data Available

Source: USGS Landsat May 1, 2013 • The workhorse of the Landsat 5 mission was the Thematic Mapper (TM) instrument. In November of 2011, the TM failed, and the MultiSpectral Scanner (MSS) instrument was brought back online a few months later. The [...]

Apr 26, 2013Landsat 8 – Going Operational Social Media Event

Source: USGS Landsat Apr. 26, 2013 • On May 30, 2013, the Landsat Data Continuity Mission will begin its life's work as an operational mission under the new moniker Landsat 8. Social media users that participate in Facebook, Twitter, or Google [...]

Apr 25, 2013How to Fly a Satellite at 17,000 MPH; The Historic Flight of Landsat 5

Source: Jennifer Harbster, Library of Congress Blog Apr. 25, 2013 • In 1984, the U.S. launched an Earth remote sensing mission to extend the observational record of our planet’s land masses begun 12-years earlier by the first Earth Resource [...]

Apr 24, 2013LDCM Status Update for April 24, 2013

Source: NASA Apr. 24, 2013 • All spacecraft and instrument systems continue to perform normally. LDCM continues to collect more than 400 scenes per day on the Worldwide Reference System-2 track. While waiting for the validation and delivery of [...]

Apr 16, 2013LDCM Status Update for April 16, 2013

Source: NASA Apr. 16, 2013 • All spacecraft and instrument systems continue to perform normally. Two ascent burns were performed in the last week. On Sunday, April 7, ascent burn No. 3 was conducted. The 56.2-second burn was the longest LDCM [...]

Apr 8, 2013New LDCM/Landsat 8 Image Examples Available from USGS

Source: USGS Landsat Project Apr. 8, 2013 • Greenbelt, Vandenberg, Gilbert and Sioux Falls: these four areas played important roles in the creation and implementation of the LDCM. Take a look at images of these areas, created using recently [...]