The Landsat Ground Station Operators Working Group (LGSOWG-37) meeting was organized by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and hosted by the Center for Earth Observation and Digital Earth (CEODE), Chinese Academy of Sciences in Shanghai, China, September 15 - 19, 2008.
Participants from 11 countries, including representatives of 17 international ground stations, members of the USGS Landsat and Landsat Data Continuity Mission (LDCM) Projects, and NASA staff, discussed details regarding Landsats 5 and 7 mission status, no-cost Landsat product distribution, the Landsat Global Archive Consolidation initiative, programmatic issues and future plans.
LDCM sensor and spacecraft development was the primary topic of discussion, supported by presentations on project and ground system status; downlink agreement concepts; ground system and downlink overview; data archive, production and distribution; and Landsat Science Team activities.
International Cooperators reported on the status of their systems, and provided information regarding the business model and organizational structure of their stations. They also addressed future satellite mission and ground system plans of their agencies:
Japan: Presented data distribution status for the Advanced Land Observation Satellite (ALOS), as well as a report from JAXA, the Japanese Space Agency, on current and future earth observation missions.
Germany: Detailed several recent and future programs, including TerraSAR-X (launched June 2007), TanDEM-X (to be launched end of 2009), EnMap (to be launched in 2011), and RapidEye (launched August 29, 2008).
Brazil: Presented the status of the China-Brazil Earth Resources Satellite (CBERS) 2B, launched September 19, 2007.
Argentina: Reported the status of the Satélite de Aplicaciones Científicas-D (SAC-D) spacecraft, scheduled for launch in May 2010.
Europe: The European Space Agency (ESA) briefed the group on the many ESA programs in progress, including the Global Monitoring for Environment and Security (GMES) programs.
Given the Global Earth Observation (GEO) activities in which most countries participate, sharing information about ongoing and future earth imaging programs is of increasing importance.
Figure 1. LGSOWG-37 participants in Shanghai. Photo credit: CEODE