Landsat Missions

Landsat Processing Details

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Standard Parameters

All* Landsat standard data products are processed using the Level-1 Product Generation System (LPGS) with the following parameters applied:

  • GeoTIFF output format
  • Cubic Convolution (CC) resampling method
  • 30-meter (TM, ETM+) and 60-meter (MSS) pixel size (reflective bands)
  • Universal Transverse Mercator (UTM) map projection (Polar Stereographic projection for scenes with a center latitude greater than or equal to -63.0 degrees)
  • World Geodetic System (WGS) 84 datum
  • MAP (North-up) image orientation

* A small number of Landsat 4-5 TM scenes are processed using the National Land Archive Production System (NLAPS). Details about the differences between LPGS and NLAPS  processed data and a listing of NLAPS-processed scenes can be found on this page.

Landsat Level-1 Data Processing Levels

All Landsat Level-1 data products are created using the best available processing level for each particular scene. The processing level used is determined by the existence of ground control points (GCP), elevation data provided by a Digital Elevation Model (DEM), and/or data collected by the spacecraft and sensor (Payload Correction Data (PCD)). See the Landsat Geometry page for a full description of the processing levels used and additional information about GCP and DEM updates.

The processing levels for Pre-Collection and Collection 1 data are shown in the table below. See the Landsat Collections webpage for a full description of all Collection 1 changes. See this FAQ for information on how to determine the processing level of a Landsat scene.

Landsat Level-1 Processing Levels

Elevation Sources and Ground Control Points

The Standard Terrain Correction (L1TP or L1T) and Systematic Terrain Correction (L1GT or L1Gt) products incorporate a Digital Elevation Model (DEM) for topographic accuracy. The Standard Terrain Correction (L1TP or L1T) products also utilize ground control points for additional geometric accuracy.

  • Ground control points used for Standard Terrain Correction (L1TP or L1T) correction are derived from the GLS2000 data set. DEM sources include SRTM, NED, CDED, DTED, GTOPO 30, and GIMP.
  • Systematic Terrain Correction (L1GT or L1Gt) is the highest level of correction possible for L7 and L8 scenes collected over Antarctica. The Ramp V2 DEM is the elevation correction source.


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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Landsat Updates

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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Page Last Modified: 06/22/17 05:09 pm