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March 18, 2020 – Landsat 8 Recorder Playback Issue Results in Missed OLI Acquisitions

On March 13, 2020 (DOY 073) at 18:27 UTC, a playback channel on the Landsat 8 satellite became disabled, resulting in the Solid State Recorder (SSR) Auto Playback function to stop working nominally. This issue created a backlog of files on the SSR, but due to an intervention by the Landsat 8 Flight Operations Team, no acquired data were lost.

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Landsat Path 176 Rows 5 to 83

However, during the SSR backlog event, a Landsat 8 Operational Land Imager/Thermal Infrared Sensor acquisition scheduled on March 15, 2020 (DOY 075) for Path 176 acquired TIRS-only data due to lack of allocation space on the SSR. The map to the right displays the scenes acquired in TIRS-only mode (Path 176, Rows 5-83).

This issue was corrected on March 16, 2020 (DOY 076), and the SSR Auto Playback function has since returned to nominal functionality.

To clear the backlog of files on the SSR and to prevent further data loss or disruption, the total daily scenes scheduled to be acquired on March 17, 2020 (DOY 77) were reduced to 450 but have now returned to the normal ~740 scenes/day beginning March 18, 2020 (DOY 078).

Please contact USGS Customer Services if you have any additional questions about this announcement.