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Landsat 7 Data Users Handbook

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The Landsat 7 Data Users Handbook is a living document prepared by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Landsat Project Science Office at the Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) Center in Sioux Falls, SD, and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Landsat Project Science Office at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) in Greenbelt, Maryland.

The purpose of this handbook is to provide a basic understanding and associated reference material for the Landsat Observatory and its science data products*. In doing so, this document does not include a detailed description of all technical details of the Landsat mission, but instead focuses on the information that the users need to gain an understanding of the data products.

This handbook provides an overview of reference material and a more detailed description of applicable data user and product information, as listed below.

*This document contains information specific to Landsat 7 ETM+ data that were processed as 'Pre-Collection' data products. Landsat 7 Pre-Collection data are no longer available from USGS, and superseded by the now standard Landsat 7 Collection 1 Level-1 data product. While Landsat Pre-Collection and Collection 1 data share basic foundational qualities, there are differences between the data products. For information on Landsat Collection 1 data, visit the Landsat Collections webpage.

Landsat 7 Data Users Handbook (.pdf) - coming soon

Section 1 - Introduction describes the background for the Landsat 7 mission as well as previous Landsat missions.

Section 2 - Observatory Overview provides a comprehensive look at the Landsat 7 concept of operations, the Observatory including the spacecraft and the Enhanced Thematic Mapper Plus (ETM+) instrument, the Landsat ground system, as well as various insitutional services.

Section 3 - Instrument Calibration provides information on radiometric and geometric instrument calibration as well as a description of the Calibration Parameter File (CPF).

Section 4 - Long-Term Acquistion Plan (LTAP) includes information about the Landsat 7 LTAP and documents the changes in data acquisition scheduling since launch.

Section 5 - Level-1 Data Products includes a description of Level-1 data products and product generation as well as the conversion of Digital Numbers (DNs) to physical units.

Section 6 - Data Search and Access provides an overview of data search and access using various online tools.

Appendix A - Known Issues contains a list of known issues associated with Landsat 7 data.

Appendix B - Calibration Parameter File (CPF) Content includes information about the CPF content.

Appendix C - ETM+ and TM Cross-Calibration (Historical) contains historical information pertaining to Landsat 7 ETM+ and Landsat 5 Thematic Mapper (TM) cross-calibration.

Appendix D - L0R and L1R Products (Historical) includes historical information about L0R and L1R data products.

Appendix E - Level 1 LPGS and NLAPS Product Differences (Historical) details the differences between Landsat Level 1 LPGS and NLAPS products.



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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The Landsat Update is an informal communication tool, prepared periodically and distributed electronically to USGS Landsat partners, to provide information about Landsat activities and related topics of interest.

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