Landsat Acquisitions

Landsat 7 Long Term Acquisition Plan

The majority of the Landsat 8 and Landsat 7 acquisitions are selected automatically by the Long Term Acquisition Plans (LTAPs). The LTAPs direct and optimizes acquisitions of each active Landsat satellite. The Landsat 7 and Landsat 8 satellite acquisitions are managed as a constellation.

Return to Landsat Acquisitions Overview

In November 2013 following the launch of Landsat 8, Landsat 7 shifted to a continental acquisition strategy in which Antarctica, oceanic islands, Greenland and row 9 and above are no longer acquired. Landsat 8 acquires Row 9 and above approximately every 4 days, always acquires the island areas, and acquires Antarctica and Greenland at rates higher than before.  (See LTAP-8 for more details)

Landsat 7 candidate day-lit land (green)

Landsat 7 candidate day-lit land (green) supporting the Landsat 7 Long Term Acquisition Plan (LTAP-7). 

Landsat 7 acquired on average 446 images per day (94 percent of available candidate scenes) in 2016 - up from the 300 scene daily limit in 2010. In the Northern Hemisphere growing season, an average of 479 images per day (91 percent of candidates) and in the Souther Hemisphere growing season, an average of 399 images per day (98 percent of candidates) were acquired. The minimum and maximum number of images per day acquired in 2016 was 322 and 539 respectively.

Landsat 7 ETM+ scenes acquired in 2016

Landsat 7 ETM+ scenes acquired in 2016 supporting the Landat 7 Long Term Acquisition Plan (LTAP-7).

Landsat 7 has no maximum daily limit established. Acquisitions are limited by physical constraints of the instrument. Cloud avoidance is a major factor in the selection of the scenes rejected. The benefits of this acquisition strategy are an increase in the number of scenes that can be acquired, along with a reduction in instrument duty cycle and the number of power cycles required. The goal is to acquire more images with more frequent revisits over the continental land masses without increasing risk to the mission.