Archive

Archive for October, 2014

A Landsat thermal image with banding
Oct 31, 2014Landsat Ghostbusters—How the Landsat Calibration Team Caught a Ghost

Shortly after the launch of Landsat 8, the calibration team noticed something strange: bright and dark stripes, or “banding” was showing up across certain images collected by the satellite’s Thermal Infrared Sensor (TIRS). Prelaunch testing of the sensor had indicated that highly accurate measurements (within 1 Kelvin) with little “noise” could be expected—what was going on?



Disaster Charter logo
Oct 31, 2014International Charter’s Landsat Image Ingests for Oct. 2014

The International Charter is a system that supplies free satellite imagery to emergency responders anywhere in the world.



L8 image of Juneau, Alaska
Oct 30, 2014Over 20 Million Landsat Scenes Downloaded

Since 2008, all Landsat data—archived and newly acquired—have been available for free download. On September 16, 2014, users worldwide downloaded over 14,000 scenes from the servers at the USGS Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) Center. These downloads brought the total number of Landsat data downloads to more than 20 million.



boat in the Sundarbans
Oct 29, 2014Mapping South Asia’s Mangroves

Along the sea’s edge in Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka, the dense coastal population lives largely in symbiosis with the region’s mangrove forests.

Mangroves—a vast network of intertidal trees and shrubs with their characteristic tangle of above ground roots—give safety, sustenance, and spectacle to coastal denizens in a multitude of ways. Namely, by stabilizing shorelines, safeguarding water quality, influencing stable microclimates, controlling flooding, and providing transportation, forest products, hunting and fishing grounds, and recreation and protecting people and property from storms.



fall foliage from Landsat 8
Oct 27, 2014Fantastic Fall Foliage

In this natural color Landsat 8 image of New York’s Finger Lake region acquired on Oct. 24, 2014, fall foliage colors of orange, rust, and sage can be seen surrounding the vivid blue lakes, bringing to mind a line from L.M. Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables: “I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers.”



One-millionth MSS image
Oct 23, 2014Looking Back—The Millionth MSS Image

This Landsat (MSS) image, acquired by Landsat 2 on May 27, 1981 (WRS-1 Path 186 Row 26), marks the one-millionth MSS image acquired by the Landsat satellites. The image covers a 115×115-mile (185×185-km) area of the steppe (vast treeless plain) region of southwestern Russia. The large body of water on the south-central portion of the image is the Tsimlyanskoye reservoir, located approximately 60 miles (96 km) west of Volgograd (formerly Stalingrad) and 550 miles (885 km) south of Moscow.



UNC paleontologists in the field
Oct 22, 2014Dinosaur GPS

Dr. Robert Anemone is the head of the Department of Anthropology at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. But he works out of a pretty standard office. The administrative assistant greets you in the outer office before gesturing toward the next door.



algae collection photo
Oct 21, 2014Bringing Climate Change Tools to Lower Mekong Region

NASA and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) announced a five-year project that will promote the use of satellite imagery to help Asia’s Lower Mekong region better predict and cope with floods and other natural disasters and increase resilience to the negative effects of climate change.



saturation event
Oct 14, 2014Keeping Cal

The Landsat calibration team published a number of papers in the SPIE Conference Volume 9218: Earth Observing Systems XIX. Our calibration team (or cal team) is a group of scientists and engineers who work together to ensure the scientific quality of Landsat data—they are the people who make it possible for us to compare Landsat images day-to-day and year-to-year. Simply said, they make change-over-time research possible.



L8 pixel size comparison
Oct 8, 2014Know your Landsat: Understanding and Accessing Landsat Data

Interested in Landsat data discovery and access?

Landsat satellites have been observing Earth’s land surfaces consistently for over 40 years, providing the longest continuous space-based record of Earth’s land in existence. All Landsat data held in the USGS archives are publicly available at no charge.



Ceccato in Tanzania
Oct 1, 2014Field Notes: Climate, Health and the Maasai

Earlier this year, I attended a workshop in Arusha, Tanzania to train research scientists from South Africa, Ivory Coast, Mauritania, Botswana, Kenya and Tanzania on how to use products derived from NASA satellites to monitor climate and environmental factors that influence the transmission of vector-borne diseases such as malaria, leishmaniasis, trypanosomiasis, schistosomiasis and Rift Valley Fever. Together, these diseases represent a scourge to both humans and animals in the region, affecting millions in East Africa alone.