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 calibration teams detected a bias error of 0.036 watts per square meter steradian micron (W/(m2 sr µm)) that causes overestimation of top-of-atmosphere temperatures by approximately 0.26 Kelvin (K) at 300K. Calibration parameters within the Calibration Parameter File (CPF) have been adjusted to correct for this bias error.

USGS logo
Sep 27, 2013Landsat 8 CPF Update Following Safehold

On September 19, 2013 (DOY 262) at approximately 20:08 UTC, Landsat 8 experienced an unplanned transition to safe hold following an attitude control anomaly. Precision attitude control was recovered and imaging operations resumed on day of year 264 (September 21, 2013).

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 cities growing, rivers flooding, lava flowing from volcanic eruptions, forests expanding or shrinking, crops greening through the growing season, and even of evidence of pollution. One of the most wonderful aspects of Landsat is that all the data are available to everyone, so people can use Landsat to make maps of their own.

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.

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 groundwater conducted for the Kenyan Government on behalf of the UN. The aquifers were detected with the WATEX System, RTI’s state-of-the-art, space-based exploration technology.

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 science and remote sensing.

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 accessible in near-real time through a new portal hosted by ESA.

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 government out of $410, 372.

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 downloaded from the USGS Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) Center.