Landsat Missions

Internal Calibrator Intrusion

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Known Issues

Landsat data are systematic, geometric, radiometric, and terrain corrected to provide the highest quality data to the user communities. Occasionally, anomalies occur and artifacts are discovered that require research and monitoring. The Landsat Calibration and Validation (Cal/Val) team investigates and tracks anomalous data.

A number of known issues regarding Landsat data are listed on this page. Updates to this list are not only made when new anomalies and artifacts are discovered, but also when investigations require changes to already existing issues.

If you discover data artifacts that are not listed here, please contact us.

Known Issues Home, Banding, Coherent Noise, Coherent Noise Storm, Data Loss, Detector Failure, Detector Ringing, Detector Striping, Gimbaled X-band Antenna (GXA) Anomaly, IC Intrusion, Impulse Noise (IN), Lower Truncation Acquisitions, Memory Effect (ME), Optical Leak, Oversaturation, Scan Correlated Shift (SCS), Scan Mirror Pulse, Shutter Synchronization Anomalies, Single Event Upset (SEU)

Internal Calibrator (IC) Intrusion

Figure 1

Figure 1. Example of Internal Calibrator (IC) Intrusion in Landsat 7 Enhanced Thematic Mapper Plus (ETM+) Level-0 imagery.
Click for animation of intrusion from 1999 to 2006. - .gif (799 KB)

Internal Calibrator (IC) Intrusion occurs when the IC shutter on the Landsat 7 Enhanced Thematic Mapper Plus (ETM+) intrudes into the imagery. IC Intrusion is a result of bumper wear, which causes the main mirror scan time to increase and forces the IC shutter to swing slower to remain in synch. Early in the life of the ETM+, intrusions were small, but they have grown with time. In 2005, intrusions grew so large in some bands that the IC pulse became visible in the imagery.

IC Intrusions are largest in Bands 1 and 8 and smallest in Bands 5 and 6, corresponding to the layout of the ETM+ detector array. They only occur on the left side of the image in forward scans. Intrusions are visible in both Level-0 and Level-1 imagery. In Red Green Blue (RGB) imagery, IC Intrusions have a multicolored effect because some bands have dark shutter data in the same pixels that other bands have imagery or the bright IC pulse.

Figure 2

Figure 2. Example of IC Intrusion in Landsat 7 ETM+ Level-0 RGB imagery.
Click to view larger image. - .gif (59 KB)

IC Intrusion is a known artifact that should cause no concern. It is uncorrectable, and the data obscured by the IC shutter intrusions are lost. Monitoring of IC Intrusions may be used as another means of measuring the increasing scan line length, which will eventually end in loss of mirror/shutter synch and force the ETM+ into bumper mode. IC Intrusions do not occur in bumper mode and are not seen in ETM+ imagery after April 2007.



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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