Landsat Science Team Meets, Celebrates Landsat 9 Transition
The 2018-2023 Landsat Science Team met for their summer meeting at the USGS Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) Center in Sioux Falls, S.D. on August 9-11, 2022. This first in-person meeting in 3 years was scheduled to allow the Team and all attendees to witness the formal transition of the Landsat 9 operations from NASA to the USGS.
During the meeting, the team heard updates from agency, program, and Landsat-related engineering and science representatives, and their respective topics of interest. Science Team Members also took the opportunity to share results and highlight their research with the meeting attendees. The members of the Landsat Science Team have been integral to the success of the Landsat Missions.
Status reports about the active Landsat 9 and Landsat 8 missions were presented, along with details and plans about future missions and data harmonization efforts. Specifics about the USGS-NASA Calibration/Validation team’s continuous cross-calibration efforts that ensure both Level-1 and Level-2 data remain at highest geometric and radiometric quality were provided in detail, and the planned reprocessing of the entire Landsat 9 data archive was also discussed. This effort will update Landsat 9 Level-1 processing with calibration refinements and improvements (such as reduced banding) made in the past year since the satellite’s launch in September 2021. This reprocessing effort will propagate from Collection 2 Level-1 data through to all Level-2 and subsequent science products. (Visit this webpage for more details: https://www.usgs.gov/landsat-missions/news/landsat-9-data-be-reprocessed-end-2022.
The team also heard from the USGS about the data from Landsat 7’s extended science mission; data that was acquired after the satellite was moved to a lower orbit in April of 2022. It is expected that this extended science mission will continue collecting data through September 2022 (visit https://www.usgs.gov/landsat-missions/news/landsat-7-data-acquired-lower-orbit-now-available to learn more about the extended science mission).
Two major changes coming to the processing flow of USGS Landsat Collection 2 Level-2 products were presented: Level-2 surface reflectance processing flows will be moving from using Moderate-Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) data as input, to the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer (VIIRS) climate modeling grid data, due to the MODIS constellation end of missions in FY 2023. For Level-2 surface temperature, a switch from Global Modeling and Assimilation Office (GMAO) GEOS-FPIT with a new system named GEOS-IT will be made to that processing flow. More details about these changes will be communicated on the Landsat Missions Web Site before the end of 2022.
A special highlight of the week was being witness to the formal transition of the Landsat 9 operations from NASA to the USGS. Visit https://www.usgs.gov/centers/eros/news/event-celebrates-satellites-new-phase-and-landsats-legacy to read more about this historic event. A video of the event can be found on the USGS Landsat Facebook page.
Presentations Now Available
Visit https://www.usgs.gov/landsat-missions/landsat-science-team-meeting-august-9-11-2022 to view the agenda and pictures, and to download individual presentations from this meeting.
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