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 very small number of Landsat TM scenes are processed using the National Land Archive Production System (NLAPS). You can reveiw the details about the differences between LPGS and NLAPS  processed data. A listing of NLAPS-processed scenes can be found at L4-5TM_NLAPS.xlsx

Levels of Correction

Landsat scenes are processed to Standard Terrain Correction (Level-1T precision- and terrain-correction) if possible. Some do not have ground-control or elevation data necessary for L1T correction, and in these cases, the best level of correction is applied (Level-1G systematic or Level-1Gt systematic terrain). See the box below for descriptions of each correction level:

Standard Terrain Correction (Level-1T) - provides systematic radiometric and geometric accuracy by incorporating ground control points while employing a Digital Elevation Model (DEM) for topographic accuracy. Geodetic accuracy of the product depends on the accuracy of the ground control points and the resolution of the DEM used:

Systematic Terrain Correction (Level-1Gt) - provides systematic, radiometric, and geometric accuracy, while employing a Digital Elevation Model (DEM) for topographic accuracy.

  • Landsat 7 scenes over Antarctica are the only data processed to an L1Gt. The Ramp V2 DEM is the elevation correction source.

Systematic Correction (Level-1G) - provides systematic radiometric and geometric accuracy, which is derived from data collected by the sensor and spacecraft. Geometric accuracy of the systematically corrected product should be within 250 meters (1 sigma) for low-relief areas at sea level.

  • Processing Levels of each Path/Row - WRS-1 and WRS-2 - .xls (13.9 MB)
  • How to determine the processing level of a downloaded Landsat scene - FAQ



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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Page Last Modified: 11/29/16 03:03 pm