Jan 30, 2013Dr. Marcia McNutt to Step Down as USGS Director

Jan. 30, 2013 • Dr. Marcia McNutt will be leaving her post as the USGS Director on Feb. 15, 2013 just after the scheduled launch of the next Landsat, the Landsat Data Continuity Mission, scheduled to launch on Feb. 11, 2013. During Dr. McNutt’s tenure both the design and build of the ground system for LDCM—to […]

Jan 29, 2013USGS Landsat Project Update – Volume 7 Issue 1 2013 Available

Source: USGS Landsat Project Jan. 29, 2013 • The latest Landsat Project Update is now available from USGS: Landsat Mission News Landsat 5 Decommissioning Plans Landsat 5 Tribute Page Landsat 7 Status LDCM Launch Readiness LDCM Spacecraft Attached to Payload Adapter LDCM Spacecraft in Payload Fairing Recent Headlines from USGS Landsat Website Landsat Product Information Phasing Out Historical Landsat […]

Jan 29, 2013Contact Us

Communications and Public Engagement Team Contacts Ginger Butcher Landsat Communications and Public Engagement Lead NASA Goddard Space Flight Center c/o Science Systems and Applications, Inc. ginger.butcher-1@nasa.gov Focus: Public Outreach, Informal Education, Applications, Publications, and Partnerships Laura Rocchio NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
 c/o Science Systems and Applications, Inc. Laura.Rocchio@nasa.gov Focus: Landsat News, Events, History, Science, […]

Jan 28, 2013USGS Technical Publication on Landsat Surface Reflectance Available

Source: J. W. Jones, M.J. Starbuck, C.B. Jenkerson, USGS Jan. 28, 2013 • The U.S. Geological Survey Land Remote Sensing Program is developing an operational capability to produce Climate Data Records (CDRs) and Essential Climate Variables (ECVs) from the Landsat Archive to support a wide variety of science and resource management activities from regional to global scale. […]

LDCM in Atlas V payload fairing
Jan 23, 2013Ready to Ride

Jan. 23, 2013 • Technicians encapsulate NASA’s Landsat Data Continuity Mission (LDCM) satellite in its payload fairing in the Astrotech processing facility at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. Further Information: + LDCM Image Gallery  + Atlas rocket and Landsat joined together for launch, Spaceflight Now

Jan 23, 2013Landsat Applications

  Agriculture, Forestry and Range Resources Land Use and Mapping Geology Hydrology Coastal Resources Environmental Monitoring Discriminating vegetative, crop and timber types Classifying land uses Mapping major geologic features Determining water boundaries and surface water areas Determining patterns and extent of turbidity Monitoring deforestation Measuring crop and timber acreage Cartographic mapping and map updating Revising […]

Meeting Spotlight
Jan 22, 2013Meeting Spotlight

Information on the professional meetings and workshops the Landsat EPO team has been involved with.       2010 Apr. 29 • Jeannie Allen served on a Special Panel, “Geospatial Education – the Status of GIS and Remote Sensing Programs,” at the American Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing (ASPRS) annual conference in San Diego, CA Apr. 20–22 […]

Jan 22, 2013More Free Data

Urban Landsat: Cities from Space (external site) A website featuring Landsat images of 77 international cities published by the Socioeconomic Data and Applications Center (SEDAC). Each city is linked to a jpeg image of a Landsat visible/IR composite collected by Landsat 5 (pre 1999) or Landsat 7. Most of the image areas are 30×30 km but […]

Jan 22, 2013More Free Data

Landsat.org (external link) Michigan State University’s Landsat.org supports the purchasing, distribution, and sharing of Landsat 7 imagery worldwide by providing a simplified, platform-independent user interface and search engine with online data ordering. Landsat.org supports research centers, science teams, and educational organizations by providing customized search interfaces, access to data hosting services, clearinghouse services, data brokering, and […]

Jan 22, 2013More Free Data

*The TerraLook interface is no longer operational as of January 2017 TerraLook provides both ASTER and Landsat data as simulated natural-color JPEG images. TerraLook aims to serve user communities who have a need for images of the Earth but do not have technical remote sensing expertise or access to expensive and specialized scientific image processing […]

Spacecraft orbit of Landsat 1, 2, and 3.
Jan 22, 2013Landsat Spacecraft Orbit

Source: The Landsat Tutorial Workbook This schematic appears in The Landsat Tutorial Workbook: Basics of Satellite Remote Sensing, written by Dr. Nicholas Short and published by the NASA Scientific and Technical Information Branch in 1982. Dr. Short writes, “The Landsat-1 spacecraft was launched on July 23, 1972, and positioned in the orbit shown in [this figure]. […]

Schematic diagram illustrating the seasonal illumination variations on a sun-synchronous orbit.
Jan 22, 2013Seasonal Illumination Variations

Source: Landsat-6 Programming and Control Handbook This schematic appears in the Landsat-6 Programming and Control Handbook that was prepared by Martin Marietta Astro Space in 1993. Like all of the Landsat satellites, Landsat-6 would have been in a sunscreen orbit had its launch been successful. The L6 Handbook tells us, “Establishment of the sun-synchronous orbit provides for […]

A Transverse Mercator projection.
Jan 22, 2013Transverse Mercator Projection

Source: 1983 Landsat Short Course Lecture This schematic appears in the handbook that accompanied the1983 Landsat Short Course lecture on “TM Data Processing and Correction” that was given by Jeff Dozier of UCSB. To continually map the Earth’s surface using Landsat data, an entirely new projection had to be created. This new projection was created by […]

Diagram showing the flight profile of ERTS-1.
Jan 22, 2013ERTS Flight Profile

Source: Earth Resources Technology Satellite Reference Manual This schematic appears in the ERTS Reference Manual that was prepared by General Electric prior to the Landsat 1 (ERTS-1) launch in 1972. The schematic shows the Landsat 1 flight profile, from liftoff (0) to spacecraft separation (10). The manual tells us, “an all-inertial guidance system, consisting of an inertial […]

Schematic diagram illustrating the geometry of a sun-synchronous orbit for the morning descending node of Landsat.
Jan 22, 2013Geometry of a Sun-Synchronous Orbit

Source: Landsat-6 Programming and Control Handbook This schematic appears in the Landsat 6 Programming and Control Handbook that was prepared by Martin Marietta Astro Space in 1993. Like all of the Landsat satellites, Landsat 6 would have been in a sun-synchronous orbit had its launch been successful. The L6 Handbook tells us, “for a nominal sun-synchronous orbit […]

Schematic diagram showing distribution of reflected radiation from a diffuse reflector.
Jan 22, 2013A Lambertian Reflector

Source: The Landsat Tutorial Workbook This schematic diagram depicts the behavior of a perfectly diffuse, or Lambertian, surface. This diagram appears in the The Landsat Tutorial Workbook: Basics of Satellite Remote Sensing written by Dr. Nicholas M. Short and published by the NASA Scientific and Technical Information Branch in 1982. Dr. Short writes, “Consider a bundle of […]

Jan 22, 2013What is the Economic Value of Satellite Imagery?

Jan 22, 2013 • Does remote-sensing information, such as that from Landsat and similar Earth-observing satellites, provide economic benefits to society, and can this value be estimated? Using satellite data for northeastern Iowa, U.S. Geological Survey scientists modeled the relations among land uses, agricultural production, and dynamic nitrate (NO3–) contamination of aquifers. They demonstrated that […]

The Worldwide Reference System
Jan 21, 2013The Worldwide Reference System

The Worldwide Reference System (WRS) is a global notation system for Landsat data. It enables a user to inquire about satellite imagery over any portion of the world by specifying a nominal scene center designated by PATH and ROW numbers. The WRS has proven valuable for the cataloging, referencing, and day-to-day use of imagery transmitted […]

Jan 21, 2013The Thematic Mapper

The Thematic Mapper (TM) is an advanced, multispectral scanning, Earth resources sensor designed to achieve higher image resolution, sharper spectral separation, improved geometric fidelity and greater radiometric accuracy and resolution than the MSS sensor. TM data are sensed in seven spectral bands simultaneously. Band 6 senses thermal (heat) infrared radiation. Landsat can only acquire night […]

Jan 21, 2013The Multispectral Scanner System

MSS Relative Spectral Response >   The Multispectral Scanner System (MSS) sensors were line scanning devices observing the Earth perpendicular to the orbital track. The cross-track scanning was accomplished by an oscillating mirror; six lines were scanned simultaneously in each of the four spectral bands for each mirror sweep. The forward motion of the satellite […]

Jan 21, 2013The Enhanced Thematic Mapper Plus

The Enhanced Thematic Mapper Plus (ETM+) instrument is a fixed “whisk-broom”, eight-band, multispectral scanning radiometer capable of providing high-resolution imaging information of the Earth’s surface. It detects spectrally-filtered radiation in VNIR, SWIR, LWIR and panchromatic bands from the sun-lit Earth in a 183 km wide swath when orbiting at an altitude of 705 km. The […]

Jan 21, 2013The Enhanced Thematic Mapper

Landsat 6 was launched on Oct. 5, 1993 carrying the Enhanced Thematic Mapper (ETM) instrument. L6 did not achieve orbit.   ETM Bands Band Number µm Resolution 1 0.45-0.52 30 m 2 0.52-0.60 30 m 3 0.63-0.69 30 m 4 0.76-0.90 30 m 5 1.55-1.75 30 m 6 10.4-12.5 120 m 7 2.08-2.35 30 m […]

Landsat 7
Jan 21, 2013Landsat 7

The Details Launch Date: April 15, 1999 Status: operational despite Scan Line Corrector (SLC) failure May 31, 2003 Sensors: ETM+ Altitude: 705 km Inclination: 98.2° Orbit: polar, sun-synchronous Equatorial Crossing Time: nominally 10 AM (± 15 min.) local time (descending node) Period of Revolution : 99 minutes; ~14.5 orbits/day Repeat Coverage : 16 days + read about the history of Landsat 7 More Technical Details […]

Landsat 6
Jan 21, 2013Landsat 6

The Details Launch Date: October 5, 1993 Status: lost at launch Sensor: ETM + read about the history of Landsat 6 More Technical Details Landsat 1 Landsat 2 Landsat 3 Landsat 4 Landsat 5 Landsat 6 Landsat 7 Landsat 8 The Worldwide Reference System

Landsat 5
Jan 21, 2013Landsat 5

The Details Launch Date: March 1, 1984 Status: Decommissioned January 2013 Sensors: TM, MSS Altitude: 705 km Inclination: 98.2° Orbit: polar, sun-synchronous Equatorial Crossing Time: nominally 9:45 AM (± 15 min.) local time (descending node) Period of Revolution : 99 minutes; ~14.5 orbits/day Repeat Coverage : 16 days + read about the history of Landsat 5 More Technical Details Landsat 1 Landsat 2 Landsat 3 […]

Landsat 4
Jan 21, 2013Landsat 4

The Details Launch Date: July 16 , 1982 Status: decommissioned, June 15, 2001 Sensors: TM, MSS Altitude: 705 km Inclination: 98.2° Orbit: polar, sun-synchronous Equatorial Crossing Time: nominally 9:45 AM (± 15 min.) local time (descending node) Period of Revolution : 99 minutes; ~14.5 orbits/day Repeat Coverage : 16 days + read about the history of Landsat 4 More Technical Details Landsat 1 Landsat 2 Landsat […]

Landsat 3
Jan 21, 2013Landsat 3

The Details Launch Date: March 5, 1978 Status: put into standby mode: March 31, 1983; decommissioned: Sept. 7, 1983 Sensors: RBV, MSS Altitude: nominally 900 km Inclination: 99.2° Orbit: polar, sun-synchronous Equatorial Crossing Time: nominally 9:42 AM mean local time (descending node) Period of Revolution : 103 minutes; ~14 orbits/day Repeat Coverage : 18 days + read about the history of Landsat 3 More Technical […]

Landsat 2
Jan 21, 2013Landsat 2

The Details Launch Date: January 22, 1975 Status: removed from operational status: February 5, 1982; decommissioned: July 27, 1983 Sensors: RBV, MSS Altitude: nominally 900 km Inclination: 99.2° Orbit: polar, sun-synchronous Equatorial Crossing Time: nominally 9:42 AM mean local time (descending node) Period of Revolution : 103 minutes; ~14 orbits/day Repeat Coverage : 18 days + read about the history of Landsat 2 More Technical Details […]

Landsat 1
Jan 21, 2013Landsat 1

The Details Launch Date: July 23, 1972 Status: expired, January 6, 1978 Sensors: RBV, MSS Altitude: nominally 900 km Inclination: 99.2° Orbit: polar, sun-synchronous Equatorial Crossing Time: nominally 9:42 AM mean local time (descending node) Period of Revolution : 103 minutes; ~14 orbits/day Repeat Coverage : 18 days + read about the history of Landsat 1 More Technical Details Landsat 1 Landsat 2 Landsat 3 Landsat […]

L7 bands compared to L8 band
Jan 21, 2013Landsat 8

Landsat 1 • Landsat 2 • Landsat 3 • Landsat 4 • Landsat 5 • Landsat 6 • Landsat 7 • Landsat 8   Landsat 8 launched on February 11, 2013, from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California, on an Atlas-V 401 rocket, with the extended payload fairing
 (EPF) from United Launch Alliance, LLC. The Landsat 8 satellite payload consists of two science instruments—the Operational Land Imager (OLI) and the […]

Landsat 7
Jan 21, 2013Landsat 7

Landsat 1 • Landsat 2 • Landsat 3 • Landsat 4 • Landsat 5 • Landsat 6 • Landsat 7 • Landsat 8 The government-owned Landsat 7 was successfully launched on April 15, 1999, from the Western Test Range of Vandenberg Air Force Base, California, on a Delta-II expendable launch vehicle. The Earth observing instrument on Landsat 7, the Enhanced Thematic Mapper Plus (ETM+), replicates the capabilities of the highly successful Thematic Mapper […]

Landsat 6
Jan 21, 2013Landsat 6

Landsat 1 • Landsat 2 • Landsat 3 • Landsat 4 • Landsat 5 • Landsat 6 • Landsat 7 • Landsat 8 On October 5, 1993 the EOSAT-owned Landsat 6 failed at launch after not reaching the velocity necessary to obtain orbit. The satellite did not achieve orbit because of a ruptured hydrazine manifold. The separation from the booster rocket occurred properly, however, the ruptured rocket fuel chamber prevented fuel […]

Landsat 5
Jan 21, 2013Landsat 5

Landsat 1 • Landsat 2 • Landsat 3 • Landsat 4 • Landsat 5 • Landsat 6 • Landsat 7 • Landsat 8 On March 1, 1984, NASA launched Landsat 5, the agency’s last originally mandated Landsat satellite. Landsat 5 was designed and built at the same time as Landsat 4 and carried the same payload: the Multispectral Scanner System (MSS) and the Thematic Mapper (TM) instruments. In 1988, Landsat […]

Landsat 4
Jan 21, 2013Landsat 4

Landsat 1 • Landsat 2 • Landsat 3 • Landsat 4 • Landsat 5 • Landsat 6 • Landsat 7 • Landsat 8 Landsat 4 was launched on July 16, 1982. The Landsat 4 spacecraft was significantly different than that of the previous Landsats, and Landsat 4 did not carry the RBV instrument. In addition to the Multispectral Scanner System (MSS) instrument, Landsat 4 (and Landsat 5) carried a sensor […]

Landsat 3
Jan 21, 2013Landsat 3

Landsat 1 • Landsat 2 • Landsat 3 • Landsat 4 • Landsat 5 • Landsat 6 • Landsat 7 • Landsat 8 Landsat 3 was launched on March 5, 1978, three years after Landsat 2. The Landsat program’s technical and scientific success together with political and economic pressures lead to the decision to commercialize an operational Landsat. To this end, responsibility was slated to shift from NASA (a research […]

Landsat 2
Jan 21, 2013Landsat 2

Landsat 1 • Landsat 2 • Landsat 3 • Landsat 4 • Landsat 5 • Landsat 6 • Landsat 7 • Landsat 8 Landsat 2 was launched on January 22, 1975, two and a half years after Landsat 1. The second Landsat was still considered an experimental project and was operated by NASA. Landsat 2 carried the same sensors as its predecessor: the Return Beam Vidicon (RBV) and the Multispectral […]

Landsat 1
Jan 21, 2013Landsat 1

Landsat 1 • Landsat 2 • Landsat 3 • Landsat 4 • Landsat 5 • Landsat 6 • Landsat 7 • Landsat 8 Landsat 1 was launched on July 23, 1972; at that time the satellite was known as the Earth Resources Technology Satellite (ERTS). It was the first Earth-observing satellite to be launched with the express intent to study and monitor our planet’s landmasses. To perform the monitoring, Landsat […]

Landsat timeline
Jan 21, 2013A Landsat Timeline

“The Landsat series of satellites is a cornerstone of our Earth observing capability. The world relies on Landsat data to detect and measure land cover/land use change, the health of ecosystems, and water availability,” NASA Administrator Charles Bolden told the Subcommittee on Space Committee on Science, Space and Technology U.S House of Representatives in April […]

Forests in SE U.S.
Jan 17, 2013Detecting Forest Change in the Southeast U.S.

Jan 17, 2013 • The southeastern United States is a hotspot for forestry activity. The cyclical harvest and planting of trees on lands dedicated to timber and pulp production result in some of the highest rates of forest change observed in the country. Over the past 40 years scientists have used USGS-NASA Landsat satellite data […]

Jan 17, 20132012 Web-Enabled Landsat Data (WELD) Available

Source: USGS Landsat Project Jan. 17, 2013 • The 2012 Web-Enabled Landsat Data (WELD) GeoTIFF data products are now available from http://weld.cr.usgs.gov. HDF tiled data can be downloaded fromftp://weldftp.cr.usgs.gov/. +Visit WELD

Jan 16, 2013EarthSky22: Landsat, the Next Generation

Source: EarthSky Jan. 16, 2013 • EarthSky’s latest EarthSky22 podcast features, Landsat and the upcoming Landsat Data Continuity Mission. Listen here. From EarthSky: The next generation of Landsat satellites will launch in February 2013. Hear from Landsat scientists, learn about winter stargazing and check out new music from Belaire. Your 22 minutes of science and music! Landsat The […]

Washington's Olympic Peninsula
Jan 16, 2013Determining range readiness, biomass and health

Contributor: Curtis E. Woodcock, Boston University Fire, drought, and humans all can destroy forests and their ecosystems. While much attention is paid to deforestation in tropical rainforests, very few comprehensive studies have been done to address changes in the Earth’s temperate conifer forests. Temperate conifer forests lie at latitudes above tropical forests and below boreal […]

image looking towards the West Antarctic Ice Sheet
Jan 16, 2013Measuring changes and extent of glacial features

Contributor: Robert Bindschadler, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center The stability of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet is an issue of active research and societal concern because of the potential economic impact resulting from an increase in global sea level. The West Antarctic Ice Sheet, riddled with deep crevasses and flowing ice streams, contains over 700,000 […]

Jan 16, 2013Accreditation Open For NASA Landsat Data Continuity Mission Launch

Members of the media planning to cover the launch of NASA’s Landsat Data Continuity Mission (LDCM) at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California must apply for accreditation by Feb. 4.

Jan 15, 2013LDCM Spacecraft Fueled; Teams Prep for Encapsulation

Source: NASA Jan. 15, 2013 • At Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, work continues on pace toward next month’s planned launch of NASA’s Landsat Data Continuity Mission, or LDCM. The spacecraft is fueled and closeouts of the observatory are under way. Encapsulation of LDCM into the payload fairing currently is set for Jan. 23. Approximately two […]

Landsat Senses a Disturbance in the Forest
Jan 14, 2013Landsat Senses a Disturbance in the Forest

A new way of studying and visualizing Earth science data from NASA and the U.S. Geological Landsat satellite program is resulting in, for the first time, the ability to tease out the small events that can cause big changes.

Jan 14, 2013Sensing Forest Disturbance: Landsat Sees Insect Outbreaks From Space

Jan 14, 2013 • A new way of studying and visualizing Earth science data from a NASA and U.S. Geological Survey satellite program is resulting in, for the first time, the ability to tease out the small events that can cause big changes in an ecosystem. Called LandTrendr, this computer program is able to find […]

Jan 11, 2013Landsat Data Continuity Mission Overview

Source: NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Jan. 11, 2013 • The Landsat Data Continuity Mission (LDCM), a collaboration between NASA and the U.S. Geological Survey, will provide moderate-resolution measurements of Earth’s terrestrial and polar regions in the visible, near-infrared, short wave infrared, and thermal infrared. There are two instruments on the spacecraft, the Thermal InfraRed Sensor (TIRS) […]

NASA Preps for Launch of Next Earth-Observing Satellite
Jan 10, 2013NASA Preps for Launch of Next Earth-Observing Satellite

NASA’s Landsat Data Continuity Mission (LDCM) is scheduled to launch Feb. 11 from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.

Jan 10, 2013NASA Prepares for Launch of Next Earth Observation Satellite

NASA’s Landsat Data Continuity Mission (LDCM) is scheduled to launch Feb. 11 from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. A joint NASA and U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) mission, LDCM will add to the longest continuous data record of Earth’s surface as…