Landsat and LDCM Headlines 2013
November 20, 2013 – New Ground Control Available Soon for Select Path/Rows
New Ground Control Points (GCPs) will become available for a number of WRS-1 and WRS-2 path/rows on December 5, 2013. This will affect Landsat Multispectral Scanner (MSS), Thematic Mapper (TM), and Enhanced Thematic Mapper Plus (ETM+) data.
Because these GCPs are significantly more accurate than previous versions, users should consider replacing images downloaded before December 5, 2013. It is recommended that previously downloaded images for these paths/rows be re-ordered to employ the new GCPs, as scenes once created as a systematic L1G product may now process to a precision L1T product.
Images downloaded after December 5, 2013 for these path rows will use improved GCPs:
|WRS-1 - MSS
||WRS-2 - TM, ETM+
|184/43, 185/42-43, 186/43
Any questions about the new GCPs can be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
November 15, 2013 – Changes in World’s Forests Portrayed Using Landsat 7 Data
A new study discussing the importance of forest ecosystems has been published in the November issue of Science magazine. Thomas Loveland, chief scientist at the USGS Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) Center in Sioux Falls, S. D., assisted in the unparalleled survey of over 650,000 Landsat 7 scenes to develop the most detailed and complete assessment of global forest dynamics available.
According to Anne Castle, Assistant Secretary of the Interior for Water and Science, "Tracking changes in the world's forests is critical because forests have direct impacts on local and national economies, on climate and local weather, and on wildlife and clean water. This fresh view of recent changes in the world's forests is thorough, objective, visually compelling, and vitally important."
For more information on the Global Forest Change study:
November 14, 2013 – Landsat 8 Reprocessing Rescheduled
The previously-planned reprocessing effort of all Landsat 8 data in the USGS archive will begin in early 2014. During this time, all Landsat 8 data held in the USGS archive will be purged and reprocessed using updated calibration parameters for both OLI and TIRS data.
The only radiometric calibration change scheduled to occur prior to the reprocessing is an update to the gains of single detectors on the edges of each module of the OLI focal plane to correct slight striping that is typically not visible. This update will affect all OLI spectral bands. This update is scheduled to take place November 27, 2013.
Details about the changes to the data are available in the November 14, 2013 Calibration Notice on http://landsat.usgs.gov/calibration_notices.php.
October 28, 2013 – Upcoming Landsat 8 Reprocessing
Within the upcoming weeks, all Landsat 8 data held in the USGS archive will be reprocessed using updated calibration parameters for OLI and TIRS data. During this time, all online products will be purged and the online inventory will be re-populated. Details about the changes to the data are available in the October 25, 2013 Calibration Notice on http://landsat.usgs.gov/calibration_notices.php
October 17, 2013 – Landsat Data Processing Resumes
Processing has resumed for Landsat 8 and Landsat 7 data acquired from October 1, 2013 to October 17, 2013. Scenes will become available for download from EarthExplorer
as processing is completed.
September 30, 2013 – Operations Update
In the event that U.S. Federal agencies are confronted with a lapse in appropriations on October 1, 2013, the Landsat 7 and 8 satellites will continue mission essential operations. The satellites will collect and downlink data to the Landsat Ground Network (LGN) and International Cooperators. The data received by the LGN will be transmitted to the U.S. Geological Survey EROS Center for ingest, processed to Level-0R, and archived. Level-1T products will not be generated, and data access and distribution services will be suspended during this time. Once U.S. Federal agencies return to operational status, Landsat Level-1T product generation will resume, as will data access and distribution services.
September 27, 2013 – Landsat 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.
All data processed by USGS/EROS from October 1, 2013 forward will be correctly calibrated within 0.4K at 300K using updated CPF coefficients. Users can correct for the bias error themselves by subtracting 0.036 W/(m2 sr µm) from the top-of-atmosphere radiance product for data products processed between January 1, 2010 and September 30, 2013.
More details about this update can be found at http://landsat.usgs.gov/science_L7_Cal_Notices.php.
September 27, 2013 – CPF update for Offset 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). Post-anomaly calibration checks detected a systematic change in the alignment between the OLI and TIRS sensors. No change in the OLI alignment to the spacecraft attitude control system was apparent so the shift is being attributed to the TIRS instrument.
The magnitude of the change – a pitch axis offset of approximately 30 microradians (about 0.2 TIRS pixels) – is large enough to threaten the thermal-to-reflective band registration requirements. Band registration tests confirm that the along-track TIRS-to-OLI band registration performance has been degraded since the safe hold event.
A calibration parameter file (CPF) update to the ACS_to_TIRS_Rotation_Matrix parameter was developed to correct this offset and was put into production on September 27, 2013. This update is effective from September 21, 2013, so a subdivision of the 3rd quarter CPF effective date range will be required. The new parameters will also be used for the upcoming 4th quarter CPF unless the ongoing monitoring of TIRS-to-OLI alignment indicates that further changes are require
No direct cause for the alignment change is known but it may be related to the change in the spacecraft thermal environment during the safe hold period. If this is the case, it is possible that, over time, the alignment will drift back closer to its earlier position.
September 24, 2013 – Landsat 8 safehold update
On Saturday September 21, 2013, the Landsat 8 flight operations team successfully recovered the Landsat 8 observatory from ‘safehold’ and resumed the collection of science data at 17:07:03 GMT (11:07:03 CDT). Imaging resumed on WRS-2 Path 14 Row 247.
Investigation into the cause for the observatory going into safehold is ongoing and updates will be posted when additional information is available.
September 19, 2013 – Landsat 8 in Safehold
On September 19, 2013 at 15:38 CDT, Landsat 8 entered a ‘safehold’ condition that has suspended the collection of science data. The Landsat 8 observatory is healthy, and no issues are expected during the recovery process being executed, which will return the satellite to nominal operations. Full recovery is expected in the next few days. More information will be posted as recovery progresses. Please consult the image acquisition schedule (http://landsat.usgs.gov/tools_pend_acq_l8.php?path=/L8_Pend_Acq/y2013/Sep) to assess any potential impacts to your work.
September 16, 2013 – Notice of Landsat 8 Data Reprocessing
The Landsat project has determined that a bias correction needs to be applied to Landsat 8 thermal infrared sensor (TIRS) band 10 (10.3 - 11.3 um) data. The USGS plans to reprocess all Landsat 8 data that have been acquired to date with the updated bias in the near future. More details about data changes and the schedule will be posted on the web site within the upcoming weeks.
July 16, 2013 – Landsat 8 QA Data Tool Available
The USGS now offers a tool that accurately translates and interprets Landsat 8 OLI Quality Assessment (QA) bits, within the Landsat LDOPE Toolbelt.
Based on functionality developed by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) Land Data Operational Product Evaluation (LDOPE) team at Goddard Space Flight Center, the Toolbelt can be downloaded as a zip file that contains the executables compiled for Linux 32-Bit, Linux 64-Bit, Windows 32-Bit, and Windows 64-Bit systems, accompanied by the source code and a readme file. Each command can be run directly by typing the executable name and its parameters from the tools directory. Details about the OLI QA Tool can be found at http://landsat.usgs.gov/documents/lldope_toolbelt_userguide_oliqa_v10.pdf.
July 8, 2013 – Old data being made newly available
As part of the Landsat Global Archive Consolidation effort, the first international Multi-Spectral Scanner (MSS) data from Canada has been added to the archive! MSS data, captured by the first Landsat missions, are often the most difficult to ingest and process, but yet can be the most valuable for studies using time series. The Canadian Centre of Remote Sensing contributed the data months ago, but the software to ingest that data successfully was just released in late June. For more information on the consolidation effort, please see: http://landsat.usgs.gov/Landsat_Global_Archive_Consolidation.php
July 1, 2013 – All Early Landsat 8 Data Available!
July 1, 2013 – All Early Landsat 8 Data Available! Nearly 10,000 Landsat 8 scenes collected by the OLI and/or TIRS sensors, including the Landsat 7 underfly images before the satellite achieved operational orbit, are available to download from EarthExplorer
. While these data meet the quality standards and have the same geometric precision as data acquired on April 11, 2013 and beyond, the geographic extents of each scene will differ. The data acquired during the Landsat 7/Landsat 8 underfly on March 29 - 30, 2013 are also available. This information can also be found on http://landsat.usgs.gov/LDCM_DataProduct.php
June 12, 2013 – Landsat Data Downloads Unavailable
Landsat data downloads will be unavailable from 7:00 am to 7:30 am on Thursday, June 13, 2013.
June 5, 2013 – Final command sent to Landsat 5
For over 29 years, commands have been sent to Landsat 5 for acquisitions, orbital maneuvers, to fix problems, and even to avoid space junk. Today at 11:34 EDT, the final command was sent to Landsat 5, to turn her solar array away from the sun, essentially ending further power to the onboard computer. She is out of fuel and will reenter and burn up in Earth's atmosphere in around 21 years. Landsat 5 was certainly crotchety at times, but her longevity is now legend, and we'll miss her.
More details can be found on http://landsat.usgs.gov/L5_Decommission.php
May 30, 2013 – Landsat 8 Data Available!
NASA has declared that the Landsat Data Continuity Mission's on-orbit checkout is complete, and it has been renamed Landsat 8 with the hand-off of operations to the USGS! Starting at 1 pm CT on May 30, data collected by the Operational Land Imager (OLI) and the Thermal Infrared Sensor (TIRS) onboard the spacecraft will be available to download from EarthExplorer
, and the LandsatLook Viewer
. Data will be available on GloVis
by 2 pm CT.
May 17, 2013 – Surface reflectance is now available
Surface reflectance is now available as a Landsat climate data record (CDR
) product through EarthExplorer
These products are generated on-demand from Landsat 5 TM and Landsat 7 ETM+ data and are also available for the Global Land Survey 2000, 2005, and 2010 collections.
May 16, 2013 – Ethiopian Highlands
This image of the Ethiopian Highlands (Lake Tana is in the upper right) was taken on April 19, 2013 and is but a small portion of the Long Swath visualization
created by our mission partner NASA.
May 15, 2013 – Fly with LDCM!
On April 19, 2013, the Landsat Data Continuity Mission passed over one long swath from Russia to southern Africa. Our mission partners at NASA crafted a beautiful fly-over that is a must-see
May 13, 2013 – Website Unavailable May 15, 2013
This site will be unavailable from 7:00 am to 10:00 am Central Time on Weds, May 15, 2013.
May 13, 2013 – Wildfire data available for download
Last week, NASA Earth Observatory
released a change pair of Landsat Data Continuity Mission images that showed before and after the southern California wildfire. Users can now download the entire 10-band image
from May 4, 2013, which is the post-fire scene.
May 9, 2013 – Landsat 8 view of southern California burn scar
Stunning before and after images of the burn scar of the southern California wildfire have been released on the NASA Earth Observatory page. These images were acquired by the newest Landsat satellite, the Landsat Data Continuity Mission. http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/IOTD/view.php?id=81085
May 1, 2013 – Landsat Data Continuity Mission on WRS-2: Sample Data Available!
Since launch, the Landsat Data Continuity Mission (LDCM) has been gradually making its way to operational orbit (called WRS-2) at 705 km (438 miles) above the surface of Earth. Check out this beautiful sample product
of the Cascade Mountains in Oregon from April 23, 2013. The sample includes all bands.
May 1, 2013 – Landsat 5 MSS 2012-2013 Data Available
The workhorse of the Landsat 5 mission was the Thematic Mapper (TM) instrument. In November of 2011, the TM failed, and the MultiSpectral Scanner (MSS) instrument was brought back online a few months later. The MSS had not acquired data for over a decade, due to the loss of Band 4 (and the continued success of the TM). While the MSS was acquiring data, the ground station was crafting new capabilities to ingest the raw instrument data. The data have been successfully ingested and are available from EarthExplorer
. It will be made available from GloVis
soon. More details on the new
MSS data are available at http://landsat.usgs.gov/NewMSSProduct.php
April 26, 2013 – USGS and NASA to Host Social Media Event
On May 30, 2013, the Landsat Data Continuity Mission will begin its life's work as an operational mission under the new moniker Landsat 8. Social media users that participate in Facebook, Twitter, or Google Plus can register to attend an event in Sioux Falls, SD that will include an official ceremony, tours, and an evening event. Participants that are chosen to attend are responsible for their own travel costs. Registration
opens at noon EDT on April 26, 2013.
April 25, 2013 – Old Metadata Format to be Removed
For over 6 months, Landsat 1-7 products have included a new metadata format to align with operational data from the Landsat Data Continuity Mission. We have been including the historic metadata format to allow users enough transition time to adjust to the new format. That file, *_OLD.txt, will be removed as of Monday, April 29, 2013.
April 23, 2013 – How do they compare? See for yourself!
In the past few weeks, the Landsat Data Continuity Mission (LDCM) flew underneath Landsat 7, acquiring nearly concurrent images. See how similar they are, but so different
April 23, 2013 – Landsat Data Continuity Mission Images of the Salton Sea
Wondering what the thermal band is all about? Check out this LDCM Thermal InfraRed Sensor (TIRS)
example from the Salton Sea.
April 8, 2013 – New LDCM/Landsat 8 Image Examples Available!
Greenbelt, Vandenberg, Gilbert and Sioux Falls: these four areas played important roles in the creation and implementation of the LDCM. Take a look at images of these areas, created using recently acquired LDCM/ Landsat 8 data: http://landsat.usgs.gov/LDCM_Image_Examples.php
March 29, 2013 – LDCM/Landsat 8 Sample Data available!
Data collected recently by the OLI and TIRS sensors aboard LDCM is available for download: http://landsat.usgs.gov/LDCM_DataProduct.php
March 21, 2013 – First image from LDCM!
On March 18, 2013, the first images
were taken with the Operational Land Imager (OLI) onboard the Landsat Data Continuity Mission (LDCM). Checkout of the instruments and spacecraft is proceeding well, and operational data is estimated to be available in late May, 2013.
March 11, 2013 – Network Outage
This website may become unusable from 5:00 to 8:00 pm Central time on Thursday March 14, 2013 for network upgrades. We apologize for any inconvenience.
March 8, 2013 – Landsat 7 Lifetime Calibration Update
The Calibration team has recently documented that the gains of the reflective bands have degraded over the past 14 years. On April 1, 2013, an update to the Landsat 7 processing will correct images for this degradation. All of the Landsat 7 data on the online server will be purged. Newly acquired data will be automatically processed, and users will need to request historical data for processing.
February 21, 2013 – LDCM begins on-orbit testing
While the Landsat Data Continuity Mission launch on February 11th was the conclusion of years of effort, it was also a beginning. Many components, subsystems, and instruments will be activated and tested in the 100 days that follow launch. All goes well so far! For more: http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/landsat/main/index.html
February 11, 2013 – The Launch of LDCM
The Landsat Data Continuity Mission (LDCM) launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California at 10:02 a.m. PST on February 11, 2013. In about 100 days, the USGS will take control and the spacecraft, will be renamed Landsat 8, and data will be made available to all users at no charge.
See pictures of pre-launch and the launch of LDCM
View the specifics about the LDCM launch
Download the LDCM Brochure - .pdf
The Launch of the Next Landsat
(Image of the Week February 7, 2013)
View the LDCM briefing
held January 10, 2013.
NASA LDCM page
one of our favorite videos about Landsat!
Watch the launch of LDCM
February 11, 2013 – Landsat 5 Sets Guinness World Record
Landsat 5 successfully set the new Guinness World Records title for 'Longest-operating Earth observation satellite’ as stated in an e-mail from Guinness World Records sent to NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. Outliving its three-year design life, Landsat 5 delivered high-quality, global data of Earth's land surface for 28 years and 10 months. More details about this outstanding achievement can be found at
January 17, 2013 – Web-Enabled Landsat Data (WELD)
The 2012 Web-Enabled Landsat Data (WELD)
GeoTIFF data products are now available from http://weld.cr.usgs.gov/
. HDF tiled data can be downloaded from ftp://weldftp.cr.usgs.gov/
January 14, 2013 – LDCM Media Briefing Held
NASA recently held a media briefing about the upcoming launch of the Landsat Data Continuity Mission (LDCM), which is scheduled to launch February 11, 2013. Watch the video
January 9, 2013 – Watch LDCM launch prep live
LDCM now resides at Vandenberg Air Force Base, but still have steps to go to get ready for launch on February 11, 2013. Watch the progress live!
January 7, 2013 – Landsat Science Team Meeting
Landsat Science Team members presented their research objectives and plans at a meeting in Washington, DC on December 12 -13, 2012. (Read More)
January 3, 2013 – Surface Reflectance Data Available
Download Adobe Reader
Landsat Surface Reflectance Climate Data Records (CDR) for Global Land Survey (GLS) collections 2000, 2005, and 2010 are now available from the Landsat CDR/ECV data set on EarthExplorer
The Surface Reflectance CDR is one of a number of higher-level Landsat data products produced to support land surface change studies. More details about Surface Reflectance CDRs can be found on http://landsat.usgs.gov/PLSRP.php