Landsat Missions


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Section 1 – Introduction

Section 2 – Observatory Overview

Section 3 – Instrument Calibration

Section 4 – Level-1 Products

Section 5 – Conversion of DNs to Physical Units

Section 6 – Data Search and Access

Appendix A – Known Issues

Appendix B – Metadata File (MTL.txt)


Download Landsat 8 (L8) Data User Handbook (.pdf 4.39 MB)


Please see the Glossary and Acronyms Web page for a complete list of acronyms.

Storey, James, Michael Choate, and Kenton Lee. "Landsat 8 Operational Land Imager On-Orbit Geometric Calibration and Performance." Remote Sensing 6, no. 11 (2014): 11127-11152.

Storey, James, Michael Choate, and Donald Moe. "Landsat 8 thermal infrared sensor geometric characterization and calibration." Remote Sensing 6, no. 11 (2014): 11153-11181.

Markham, Brian, Julia Barsi, Geir Kvaran, Lawrence Ong, Edward Kaita, Stuart Biggar, Jeffrey Czapla-Myers, Nischal Mishra, and Dennis Helder. "Landsat-8 Operational Land Imager radiometric calibration and stability." Remote Sensing 6, no. 12 (2014): 12275-12308.

Montanaro, Matthew, Raviv Levy, and Brian Markham. "On-orbit radiometric performance of the Landsat 8 Thermal Infrared Sensor." Remote Sensing 6, no. 12 (2014): 11753-11769.

Barsi, Julia A., John R. Schott, Simon J. Hook, Nina G. Raqueno, Brian L. Markham, and Robert G. Radocinski. "Landsat-8 Thermal Infrared Sensor (TIRS) Vicarious Radiometric Calibration." Remote Sensing 6, no. 11 (2014): 11607-11626.

Cook, Monica, John R. Schott, John Mandel, and Nina Raqueno. "Development of an Operational Calibration Methodology for the Landsat Thermal Data Archive and Initial Testing of the Atmospheric Compensation Component of a Land Surface Temperature (LST) Product from the Archive." Remote Sensing 6, no. 11 (2014): 11244-11266.

Gerace, Aaron, John Schott, Michael Gartley, and Matthew Montanaro. "An Analysis of the Side Slither On-Orbit Calibration Technique Using the DIRSIG Model." Remote Sensing 6, no. 11 (2014): 10523-10545.

Montanaro, Matthew, Aaron Gerace, Allen Lunsford, and Dennis Reuter. "Stray light artifacts in imagery from the Landsat 8 Thermal Infrared Sensor." Remote Sensing 6, no. 11 (2014): 10435-10456.

Knight, Edward J., and Geir Kvaran. "Landsat-8 operational land imager design, characterization and performance." Remote Sensing 6, no. 11 (2014): 10286-10305.

Barsi, Julia A., Kenton Lee, Geir Kvaran, Brian L. Markham, and Jeffrey A. Pedelty. "The spectral response of the Landsat-8 operational land imager." Remote Sensing 6, no. 10 (2014): 10232-10251.

Montanaro, Matthew, Allen Lunsford, Zelalem Tesfaye, Brian Wenny, and Dennis Reuter. "Radiometric calibration methodology of the Landsat 8 Thermal Infrared Sensor." Remote Sensing 6, no. 9 (2014): 8803-8821.

Morfitt, Ron, Julia Barsi, Raviv Levy, Brian Markham, Esad Micijevic, Lawrence Ong, Pat Scaramuzza, and Kelly Vanderwerff. "Landsat-8 Operational Land Imager (OLI) radiometric performance on-orbit." Remote Sensing 7, no. 2 (2015): 2208-2237.

Mishra, Nischal, Md Obaidul Haque, Larry Leigh, David Aaron, Dennis Helder, and Brian Markham. "Radiometric Cross Calibration of Landsat 8 Operational Land Imager (OLI) and Landsat 7 Enhanced Thematic Mapper Plus (ETM+)." Remote Sensing 6, no. 12 (2014): 12619-12638.

Wenny, Brian N., Dennis Helder, Jungseok Hong, Larry Leigh, Kurtis J. Thome, and Dennis Reuter. "Pre-and post-launch spatial quality of the Landsat 8 Thermal Infrared Sensor." Remote Sensing 7, no. 2 (2015): 1962-1980.

Irons, James R., John L. Dwyer, and Julia A. Barsi. "The next Landsat satellite: The Landsat data continuity mission." Remote Sensing of Environment 122 (2012): 11-21.

Irons, James R., and John L. Dwyer. "An overview of the Landsat Data Continuity Mission." In SPIE Defense, Security, and Sensing, pp. 769508-769508. International Society for Optics and Photonics, 2010.

Arvidson, Terry, Samuel Goward, John Gasch, and Darrel Williams. "Landsat-7 Long-Term Acquisition Plan." Photogrammetric Engineering & Remote Sensing 72, no. 10 (2006): 1137-1146.

Rice, Robert F., Pen-Shu Yeh, and Warner H. Miller. "Algorithms for high speed universal noiseless coding." In Proceedings of the AIAA Computing in Aerospace 9 Conference, pp. 19-21. 1993.

EarthExplorer Tutorial

EarthExplorer Registration           

GloVis Quick Start Guide

LandsatLook Viewer User Documentation

Landsat Data Products

Landsat 8 Mission Data Format Control Book

Landsat 8 Level-0 Reformatted Data Format Control Book

Landsat 8 Level-1 Data Format Control Book 

Landsat 8 Cal/Val Algorithm Description Document

Landsat Fact Sheet

Landsat 8 (L8) Operational Land Imager (OLI) and Thermal Infrared Sensor (TIRS) Calibration Notices

Landsat 8 Overview 

LandsatLook Images

USGS Landsat User Services
Contact USGS Landsat User Services with any questions regarding these interfaces or Landsat data products, M-F 8:00 am to 4:00 p.m. CT:

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