Landsat Missions

Access to this site may be intermittent from 9:00 pm to 11:00 pm CT on Thursday May 24, 2018. 

What is a gain change?

You are here


What is a gain change?


All Landsat 7 ETM+ bands, (excluding band 6) have an adjustable gain setting, which allows the Mission Operations Center (MOC) to maximize the instrument's radiometric resolution for each band without saturating the detectors. Generally, acquisition of a scene in low gain allows a higher dynamic range with less risk of saturation over bright areas. Acquisition in high gain will provide greater radiometric resolution (sensitivity).

Band 6 (thermal infrared) is acquired in both gain states and the image data is provided in two separate band files (6L and 6H). (More details at the FAQ describing this)

Gain setting files can be found on the Landsat 7 Long Term Acquisition Plan page.

More information about gain change can be found in the Landsat 7 Science Data Users Handbook.


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.


Contact Us

Accessibility FOIA Privacy Policies and Notices logo U.S. Department of the Interior | U.S. Geological Survey
Page Contact Information: Ask Landsat
Page Last Modified: 04/25/18 01:57 pm