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March 6, 2015 - Landsat 8 TIRS Sensor Resumes Nominal Operations

The Landsat 8 Thermal Infrared Sensor (TIRS) resumed normal imaging operations on March 4, 2015, and nominal blackbody and deep space calibration data collection will resume on March 7, 2015.

Since the current anomaly associated with the scene select mirror encoder electronics forced a suspension of TIRS Level-1 data processing on December 19, 2014, an exhaustive study has been conducted to determine the root cause of the anomaly and to develop plans for reconfiguring the instrument for a return to nominal operations. During this time TIRS data continued to be collected and archived, although Level-1 processing was suspended.

On March 2, 2015, the TIRS mechanism control electronics (MCE) were swapped to the redundant side (“side-B”) and TIRS data collection resumed on March 4, 2015. It will still take several weeks of commissioning the instrument with the side-B MCE and obtaining sufficient calibration data to resume Level-1 processing. Likewise, TIRS data collected December 19, 2014 through March 1, 2015 will require updated calibration parameters before these data can be processed to generate Level-1 products.

The table below summaries the dates ranges during which TIRS data have been acquired, when provisional products will become available, when reprocessing will take place, and when reprocessed data will become available.

TIRS data table

 A more comprehensive summary of the issues and impacts to TIRS data collection will be posted on the Landsat 8 Calibration Notices Web site.