Contributor: Steven T. Labahn, USGS

LTWG-18 meeting participants in Maspalomas, Spain.

LTWG-18 meeting participants in Maspalomas, Spain.

This year’s Landsat Technical Working Group (LTWG-18) meeting was held in Maspalomas, Spain from February 9–13, 2009. The meeting was organized by the USGS along with their NASA partner and was hosted by the European Space Agency (ESA) and Spanish Space Agency Instituto Nacional de Técnica Aeroespacial (INTA). Participants from 11 countries, including members of the USGS Landsat and Landsat Data Continuity Mission (LDCM) Projects, represented 14 international ground stations and discussed a wide range of technical topics. Presentations included status updates for the Landsat 5 (L5) and Landsat 7 (L7) missions with updates on the recent L5 battery management improvements, the Landsat Project’s web-enabled product distribution, the Global Land Survey 2005 (GLS2005) and 2010 (GLS2010) Projects, the Landsat Global Archive Consolidation (LGAC) initiative, and other technical items and future plans.

With Landsat Data Continuity Mission (LDCM) sensor and spacecraft development well underway, this was a primary topic of discussion. LDCM presentations provided information about the project; ground system status; ground system and downlink overview; data processing flow; and the Landsat Science Team (LST).

A new International Cooperator Landsat/LDCM web portal was also presented as well as current and future Data Validation & Exchange (DV&E) plans. Each International Cooperator briefed the group on the technical status of their systems and provided information regarding (1) the status of their new L5 Thematic Mapper (TM) Calibration Parameter File (CPF), (2) the status of their Landsat Metadata Description Document (LMDD)-compliant metadata and browse implementations, and (3) the future satellite mission and ground system plans of their agencies.


Australia briefed the attendees on a recent re-organization and creation of their new National Earth Observation (NEO) Group.

+ The Japanese delegation presented data distribution status for the Advanced Land Observation Satellite (ALOS) and its associated data node infrastructure.

+ The German delegation presented information about several recent and future programs, including TerraSAR-X, TanDEM-X, EnMap, and RapidEye.

+ The Brazilian delegation presented the status of the China-Brazil Earth Resources Satellite (CBERS) programs and a compelling briefing on the Satellite Monitoring of the Brazilian Amazon (PRODES & DETER Projects).

ESA briefed the group on the many ESA programs in progress, including the Global Monitoring for Environment and Security (GMES) and their multi-mission architecture (MMFI).

+ The China Centre of Earth Observation and Digital Earth (CEODE) presented information about their new building planned for 2010 and extended an invitation to all participants for their 6th International Symposium on Digital Earth (September 9-12, 2009 in Beijing).

+ The Thailand delegation capped the meeting with a tremendously interesting presentation on their very recent and successful launch of the Thailand Earth Observation System (THEOS).

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