Apr. 5, 2013 • All spacecraft and instrument systems continue to perform normally. LDCM under-flew the Landsat 7 satellite from Friday, Mar. 29, to Sunday, Mar. 31, collecting more than 1,200 coincident scenes. The scenes were acquired over a variety of different landscapes.
During this period a number of coordinated field campaigns also took place. NASA and a team from the University of Arizona collected data at Red Lake playa in Arizona on March 29th, and McClaws, Arizona on the 31st, including airborne data collected with the G-LiHT instrument. Another NASA team has been collecting AVIRIS and MASTER airborne data throughout California, while regular thermal measurements were made from buoys in Lake Tahoe and the Salton Sea. Additionally, a team from South Dakota State University collected field data in the Sioux Falls area during the under flight. The field campaigns were timed so that ground- and air-based measurements could be made simultaneously with tandem Landsat 7/ LDCM data collects.
The NASA and USGS calibration teams are using the collected data to refine LDCM’s pre-launch calibration in preparation for the public release of data beginning in late May—after the on-orbit check-out is complete, the satellite reaches its operational altitude, and operations are formally handed over to USGS.
Safeguarding freshwater resources is crucial, and while scientists use a variety of ground-based techniques to gauge water quality, the Landsat program has provided water quality data from orbit for decades.