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Eyes on Earth is a podcast on remote sensing, Earth observation, land change and science, brought to you by the USGS Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) Center. 

The Eyes on Earth podcast is currently hosted by Tom Adamson, Jane Lawson, and Sheri Levisay (contractors for USGS EROS). Episodes are produced by Tom Adamson.

Click on an episode title below to visit the episode page. Episode pages include related content, transcript access, and full episode credits.

 

Latest Episodes

 

Episode 88 – Landsat 5’s Significance, Part 2

Release date: Monday, January 23, 2023
Logo with satellite image background and two mugshots
Steve Covington (top) and Jeff Devine (bottom).

Designed to last three years, Landsat 5 launched in 1984 and transmitted data until the launch of Landsat 8 in 2013. In this episode, we learn about some of the challenges—and adrenaline rushes—Landsat 5 gave the flight operations team as it aged, as well as the fondness our two guests came to have for the satellite’s unique personality and the whole team as they served on it during the satellite’s twilight years. In October 2022, the Flight Operations Team won the 2020 Group Pecora Award during the 22nd William T. Pecora Memorial Remote Sensing Symposium.

Guests: Steve Covington, former Landsat 5 flight manager, now Aerospace Corp. contractor serving as the principal systems engineer for the USGS National Land Imaging Program; and Jeff Devine, former Landsat 5 lead operations engineer, now KBR contractor leading the Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope Flight Operations Team at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

 

Episode 87 – Landsat 5's Significance, Part 1

Release date: Monday, January 9, 2023
Logo with a background satellite image and two mugshots on the left
Steve Covington (top) and Jeff Devine (bottom). Landsat 5 image of Chernobyl shortly after the 1986 accident.

Summary: Designed to last three years, Landsat 5 launched in 1984 and transmitted data until the launch of Landsat 8 in 2013. In this episode, we learn about the significance of this satellite, which set a Guinness World Record for “Longest Operating Earth Observation Satellite.” Our two guests served on the flight operations team in the satellite’s twilight years and describe its importance to the unbroken record of Landsat data. They also share their personal connections with the satellite—including a journey from watching the launch on a monitor at EROS to eventually leading the team.

Guests: Steve Covington, former Landsat 5 flight manager, now Aerospace Corp. contractor serving as the principal systems engineer for the USGS National Land Imaging Program; and Jeff Devine, former Landsat 5 lead operations engineer, now KBR contractor leading the Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope Flight Operations Team at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

 

Episode 86 – Tours at EROS

Release date: Monday, December 19, 2022
Logo with exterior of front entrance and photo inset of woman giving presentation
Ann Tripp.

The USGS EROS Center is the home of the Landsat satellite archive. This data center and science center located on a former farm near Sioux Falls, SD, is one of the largest civilian archives of land imaging in the world. In this episode, we discuss what visitors to EROS will learn on a tour, including examples of land change seen by Landsat and why EROS is located where it is. Find out how to contact the EROS Outreach Coordinator to schedule a tour, group visit, or school or civic presentation.

EROS is accepting prescheduled tours. Please call 605-594-6511, or email gs_eros_outreach@usgs.gov for scheduling or further information. To view Landsat and other EROS archive imagery, visit Earth Explorer.

Guest: Ann Tripp, contractor, USGS EROS Center Outreach Coordinator

 

 

Episode 85 – Landsat 7 Extended Science Mission 

Release date: Monday, December 5, 2022
Logo with man's mugshot and satellite illustration
Chris Crawford.

Landsat 7’s nominal science mission ended in April 2022 after nearly 23 years of acquiring Earth imagery from 705 kilometers above the Earth. Landsat 7 is now in an extended science mission after having its orbit lowered by about 8 kilometers to make way for Landsat 9. In this episode, we discuss why Landsat 7 continues to collect imagery, the quality of the extended science mission imagery, and the advantages of having three Landsats operating at the same time.

Guest: Chris Crawford, USGS Research Physical Scientist, Landsat Project Scientist, Co-chair of the Landsat Science Team, Landsat Science Data Acquisition Manager

 

Episode 84 – Hurricane Disturbance Mapping

Release date: Monday, November 21, 2022
Logo and man's mugshot on a hurricane satellite image
Zhe Zhu.

When disaster strikes, near-real-time images of its effects can be invaluable. In this episode, we learn about how a newly developed system using the Harmonized Landsat Sentinel-2 dataset and artificial intelligence was put to the test when Hurricane Ian tore through Florida in late September 2022. By comparing pre-storm and post-storm imagery, the system quickly flagged anomalies statewide such as brightness, which could indicate exposed sand or bare land after a hurricane. Harmonized Landsat Sentinel-2 data is available through the Land Processes Distributed Active Archive Center, or LP DAAC for short, located at EROS, which is also home to the entire Landsat archive.

Guest: Zhe Zhu, University of Connecticut’s Global Environmental Remote Sensing Laboratory and Landsat Science Team

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