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April 3, 2023

Originally released in 2006, the Landsat Spectral Characteristics Viewer provides a visual method for users of Landsat and other Earth Observation data to evaluate satellite sensor bands and determine those bands that may be best suited for application research related to the available targets. 

While minor updates have been made occasionally since the original release, recently the USGS EROS CalVal Center of Excellence (ECCOE) project has implemented changes to the Spectral Characteristics Viewer to provide an improved user experience. 

The Spectral Characteristics Viewer allows the following actions:  

  • Investigate individual sensor Relative Spectral Responses (RSRs) including Full Width Half Maximum (FWHM) 

  • Compare two sensor RSRs including FWHM 

  • Investigate individual target spectra 

  • Compare six target spectra 

  • Overlay up to two sensor RSRs and six target spectra for analysis 

  • Compute the response [sensor(s) sampling the target(s)] of up to two sensor RSRs sampling up to six target spectra 

Spectral Characteristics Viewer
The Spectral Characteristics Viewer displays Landsat 9 Operational Land Imager (OLI) band wavelengths and the spectral signature of maple leaves. 

Future planned improvements include integration of atmospherics, integration of interoperability metrics, and expansion of the sensor RSR and target spectra libraries. 

Users are encouraged to check out the updated Viewer at Please contact USGS Customer Services with any questions.  

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