Category: Technical News

News Archive

Following the Trail of TIRS Technology onto a CapSat

An advanced photodetector camera that traces its heritage to one now flying on Landsat 8 is being studied as a potential payload on a conceptual satellite (CapSat) system purposely designed to take advantage of the expected boom in secondary-payload launch opportunities.

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USGS TIRS Update

Toward the end of April, reprocessing efforts will begin for Landsat 8 OLI/TIRS scenes acquired from January 1 to March 31, along with data acquired during April, to create nominal Level-1 products containing valid TIRS data. 

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Landsat 8 TIRS Updates from USGS

As of Feb. 12, 2016, many of the Landsat 8 scenes acquired from October to December 2015 have been reprocessed into nominal Level-1 products containing valid TIRS data and are available for download, and can also be submitted for higher-level Surface Reflectance data processing via the ESPA On-demand interface.

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Landsat 8 Thermal Data Update

Landsat 8 Thermal Infrared Sensor (TIRS) data continue to be collected with the scene select mirror encoder electronics disabled (mode 0). While in this mode, the TIRS line of sight model (LOS) will be regularly updated and modifications are being made to automate revisions to the LOS in the Level-1 Product Generation System (LPGS).

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TIRS Anomaly

On Nov. 1, 2015 the TIRS instrument experienced an anomalous condition related to the instrument’s ability to accurately measure the location of the Scene Select Mirror.

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Landsat 8 Thermal Sensor Update

After extensive investigation and testing, the decision has been made to switch the TIRS Mechanism Control Electronics from the primary to redundant side on Monday, March 2, 2015.

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Landsat 8 Remote Sensing Special Issue

A trio of Landsat calibration scientists—Brian Markham (NASA Goddard Space Flight Center), Jim Storey (Stinger Ghaffarian Technologies for USGS EROS) and Ron Morfitt (USGS Earth Resources Observation and Science Center) Landsat 8 Special Issue of the journal Remote Sensing.

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USGS Landsat 8 TIRS Update

On December 19 the TIRS instrument on Landsat 8 was reconfigured due to detection of anomalous current levels associated with the scene select mirror encoder electronics. Since that time substantial testing has been conducted to isolate the root cause of the problem and to evaluate options for returning to routine operations.

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Landsat 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?

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Keeping 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.

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Sun Seekers Unite in Ivanpah Playa

On public land in the Ivanpah Valley near the California/Nevada border, the world’s largest concentrated solar thermal plant sprawls across the desert landscape. Just on the other side of Interstate 15 (the long straight diagonal line) is the location of a Landsat calibration site.

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National Land Imaging Requirements Pilot Project: Summary of Moderate Resolution Imaging User Requirements

Under the National Land Imaging Requirements (NLIR) Project, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) is developing a functional capability to obtain, characterize, manage, maintain and prioritize all Earth observing (EO) land remote sensing user requirements. The goal is a better understanding of community needs that can be supported with land remote sensing resources, and a means to match needs with appropriate solutions in an effective and efficient way.

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Landsat Cal/Val Team Receives 2013 Robert H. Goddard Award for Science

Landsat helps scientists comprehend what changes have occurred on Earth’s land surfaces. Since 1972, Landsat satellites have been amassing information about the land cover of our planet and land cover, as obscure as it may sound, is important for our understanding of big issues like water use, carbon stocks, and global crop production.

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Landsat 8 Reprocessing Details

Beginning February 3, 2014, all Landsat 8 data held in the USGS archives will be reprocessed. All Landsat 8 scenes will be removed from the online cache at this time and the data will then be reprocessed starting with the most recent acquisitions and proceeding back to the beginning of the mission. Data will then become available for download. Scenes waiting to be reprocessed will also be available for on-demand product orders. Reprocessing is expected to take approximately 50 days.

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