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Landsat Acquisitions

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.

Landsat scenes downlinked directly to the USGS EROS Ground Station typically become available for download within 12 hours after acquisition. Data downlinked to other ground stations may be delayed as are data acquired during processing system down times.

Landsat Acquisition Tool

Access the Landsat Acquisition Tool to see the planned acquisitions for Landsat 8 and Landsat 7 data, as well as the ability to download files of all daily acquisitions. This tool also includes a Path/Row to Lat/Long Converter. 

Landsat 8 Acquisitions (2013 to present)

Landsat 8 collects up to 740 scenes per day, directed by the Landsat 8 Long Term Acquisition Plan (LTAP-8). LTAP-8 utilizes parameters such as seasonality, land definition, historical cloud cover, gain settings, and sun angle to determine acquisitions. Nearly all land day-lit opportunities are scheduled for Landsat 8. 

Landsat 8 spacecraft maneuvers

Landsat 7 Acquisitions (1999 to present)

Landsat 7 collects over 400 scenes per day, directed by the Landsat 7 Long Term Acquisition Plan (LTAP-7). LTAP-7 utilizes parameters such as seasonality, land definition, historical cloud cover, gain settings, and sun angle.

In November 2013, Landsat 7 shifted to a continental acquisition strategy in which data over 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 spacecraft maneuvers

Special Requests for Future Landsat Acquisitions

Special requests can be made for the acquisition of Landsat data that do not fall within the candidate images acquired by the logic defined in the Long Term Acquisition Plans (described above). Please review the areas covered by the LTAP-7 and LTAP-8 before submitting a special request.

For Landsat 8, special requests are only needed to acquire night, low sun elevation, ocean and ascending day-lit data, or for emergency response operations. All attempts will be made to accommodate emergency requests over other high priority activities. However most activities, such as maneuvers, causing rejected imaging are required and cannot be moved.

For Landsat 7, special requests can be used to increase the probability of acquiring scenes covered by the L7 continental strategy and are recommended when field measurements are planned. Special requests for night, ocean, islands, and other scenes excluded from the L7 continental strategy are only approved for emergency response.

Single Path/Row Request Form – Complete and submit this form if your area of interest falls in one path/row range.

Multiple Path/Row Request Form – Download, complete and send this form to if your area of interest encompasses more than one path/row range. You may also send a list of path/rows with your email in a .csv format (see example below). You will be contacted when your request is received, and it will be reviewed and elevated for final approval.

Example file for multiple paths/rows

Visit the Landsat Data and Tools web page for useful information to complete the Special Requests. 

USGS Landsat Global Archive Consolidation

The USGS is partnering with the Landsat International Cooperator community to consolidate all Landsat holdings into one freely distributable and consistently processed Landsat Archive. This activity has more than doubled the number of images in the Landsat Global Archive. Visit the Landsat Global Archive Consolidation (LGAC) page for more information on the effort.