As of October 31, 2023, the ability to view and download the thermal band information for Landsat 4-9 sensors, Terra MODIS, and Terra ASTER has been added.

The response calculations and targets have been expanded to include thermal content. 

The Target Spectra tabs have been modified to include selections available from the USGS Spectroscopy Laboratory and the ECOSTRESS Spectral Library.

Spectral Characteristics Viewer

The Spectral Characteristics Viewer allows users to evaluate satellite sensor bands that may be best suited for application research related to the available targets.

With this tool, you can:

  • Investigate individual sensor Relative Spectral Responses (RSRs).
  • Compare two sensor RSRs.
  • Investigate individual target spectra.
  • Compare six target spectra.
  • Overlay up to two sensor RSRs and six target spectra for analysis.
  • Compute the response [sensor(s) sampling the target(s)] of up to two sensor RSRs sampling up to six target spectra.

The viewer includes sensor and target spectral information in the following ranges: VSWIR (0.38 to 2.51 μm), TIR (2.51 to 14.0 μm), and VSWIR+TIR (0.38 to 14.0 μm).

Over the last several months, the USGS EROS EROS CalVal Center of Excellence (ECCOE) project has updated and improved this viewer. The latest improvements include enhanced display controls, display highlighting of sensor RSR and target spectra on legend mouseover, mouseover tooltips for target spectra short name traceability to the USGS Spectroscopy Lab, and the response calculation of the sensor RSR sampling the target spectra.

How to use the Spectral Characteristics Viewer  (Click to expand/close)


Spectral characteristics results may be captured using system and web browser print functions, or a screen capture tool.

Sensor RSRs  (Click to expand/close)

Target Spectra  (Click to expand/close)