Landsat Missions

This site will be relocating soon!  Check out this HEADLINE for more details. 

Why are there two thermal band 6 files with the Landsat 7 data I downloaded?

You are here


Why are there two thermal band 6 files with the Landsat 7 data I downloaded?


The Landsat 7 thermal band 6 data files refer to the gain settings of which the band is acquired. Since band 6 is acquired in both high and low gain, the gain settings are provided as two separate band files. Additional details about Gain States can be found in the Landsat 7 Data Users Handbook.

FILE_NAME_BAND_6_VCID_1 (band 61 or 6L) provides an expanded dynamic range and lower radiometric resolution (sensitivity), with less saturation at high Digital Number (DN) values.

FILE_NAME_BAND_6_VCID_2 (band 62 or 6H) has higher radiometric resolution (sensitivity), although it has a more restricted dynamic range.



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

Landsat Updates

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.

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: 10/18/18 11:39 am