Landsat Missions

Landsat Science Team 1996 - 2001

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In September 1995, the NASA Office of Mission to Planet Earth issued a research announcement (NRA-95-MTPE-03) soliciting research and education proposals. The overall goal of the solicitation was to select proposals that involve improving the understanding of the Earth as a coupled and integrated system, how it responds to natural and human-induced perturbations, and how this response manifests itself as global changes. There was a specific focus on proposals that addressed Landsat continuity and the Enhanced Thematic Mapper Plus (ETM+) onboard Landsat 7 (scheduled to be launched in 1998; actual launch was 15 April 1999).

More than 300 proposals were received and evaluated by scientific peers. NASA selected fourteen Landsat proposals that collectively provided the strongest research needed to accomplish NASA’s mission objectives. For subsequent Landsat Science Teams (2006 onward), the U.S. Geological Survey took on the lead funding role, while sharing management with NASA.

Those selected became the Landsat Science Team and took on the responsibility to conduct basic research, develop new and innovative methods for using Landsat observations for global change studies, and to evaluate the quality of data acquired by Landsat and other land-surface imaging missions sponsored by other U.S. Government agencies and private industry in order to assess alternatives in addressing the Landsat continuity requirement.

Although the members’ terms had ended in 2001, the USGS requested members to contribute to the analysis of the Scan-Line Corrector failure on ETM+ that occurred in May 2003. Background, analyses, and a summary of thise work was published in this report: Preliminary Assessment of the Value of Landsat 7 ETM+ Data Following Scan-Line Correction Malfunction (.pdf 12.3 MB)

The 1996-2001 Landsat Science Team members and their focus areas:

Robert Bindschadler, Goddard Space Flight Center
Enhanced Antarctic Research with Landsat: Ice-sheet Dynamics, History, and Cartography

Robert Cahalan, Goddard Space Flight Center
Clear Sky and Cloud: Characterization and Correction for Landsat

Kendall Carder, University of South Florida
Bottom-Assessment and Water-Constituent Algorithms for the ETM in the Coastal Zone

Luke Flynn, University of Hawaii, Manoa
Analysis of Volcanic Eruptions and Fires Using Landsat 7

Alexander Goetz, University of Colorado, Boulder
Land and Land-Use Change in the Climate Sensitive High Plains: An Automated Approach with Landsat

Samuel Goward, University of Maryland
Terrestrial Monitoring at High Spatial Resolution: The Role of Landsat-type Sensors in Mission to Planet Earth

Susan Moran, U.S. Department of Agriculture
LANDSAT TM and ETM+ Data for Resource Monitoring and Management

Frank Palluconi, Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Landsat 7: Calibration and Atmospheric Correction for Thermal Band 6

John Price, U.S. Department of Agriculture
Surface Classification for MODIS, Radiometric Calibration and Project Support

John Schott, Rochester Institute of Technology
Absolute Calibration, Atmospheric Correction and Application of LANDSAT ETM+ Thermal Infrared Data

David Skole, University of New Hampshire
Acquisition and Analysis of Large Quantities of Landsat 7 Data for Measuring Tropical Land Cover Change

Kurtis Thome, University of Arizona
Absolute Radiometric Calibration and Atmospheric Correction of Landsat-7 Thematic Mapper

James Vogelmann, U.S. Geological Survey
Characterization of Landsat 7 Geometry and Radiometry for Land Cover Analysis

Curtis Woodcock, Boston University
Monitoring Changes in Temperate Coniferous Forest Ecosystems

NASA’s original announcement of this team is also posted on Opportunities to Participate in NASA Mission to Planet Earth and Earth Observing System Science and Education Programs.


Landsat represents the world's longest continuously acquired collection of space-based moderate-resolution land remote sensing data. Four decades of imagery provides a unique resource for those who work in agriculture, geology, forestry, regional planning, education, mapping, and global change research. Landsat images are also invaluable for emergency response and disaster relief.


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