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Landsat Collections

In 2016, the U.S. Geological Survey reorganized the Landsat archive into a tiered collection structure, which ensures that Landsat Level-1 products provide a consistent archive of known data quality to support time-series analyses and data “stacking” while controlling continuous improvement of the archive and access to all data as they are acquired. Landsat Collection 1 required the reprocessing o

Radiometric characterization of Landsat Collection 1 products

Landsat data in the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) archive are being reprocessed to generate a tiered collection of consistently geolocated and radiometrically calibrated products that are suitable for time series analyses. With the implementation of the collection management, no major updates will be made to calibration of the Landsat sensors within a collection. Only calibration parameters needed

Radiometric calibration updates to the Landsat collection

The Landsat Project is planning to implement a new collection management strategy for Landsat products generated at the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) Center. The goal of the initiative is to identify a collection of consistently geolocated and radiometrically calibrated images across the entire Landsat archive that is readily suitable for time-series

Landsat helps bolster food security

One of the cruelest, most complex narratives in the world today (2019) is written in the hunger of sub-Saharan Africa. When famine is the only yield from the scorched Earth, survival often depends on a heart-rending calculation—how far is the distant feeding center and how close is the nearest well?

Landsat brings understanding to the impact of industrialization

In his 1963 book, “The Quiet Crisis,” former Interior Secretary Stewart Udall lamented what he called the decline of natural resources in the United States under the advancements of industrialization and urbanization.

Landsat plays a key role in reducing hunger on earth

The United Nations’ Department of Economic and Social Affairs predicts 9.7 billion people will sit down every day to the global dinner table by 2050. If this prediction is correct, the world is going to need more crops, more livestock, and more efficient and sustainable agricultural practices.

When wildfire damage threatens humans, Landsat provides answers

A wildfire’s devastation of forest and rangeland seldom ends when the last embers die. In the western United States, rain on a scorched mountainside can turn ash into mudslides. Debris flows unleashed by rainstorms can put nearby homes into harm’s way and send people scrambling for safety. The infrared capabilities of Landsat satellite imagery provide vita information about potential dangers after

Landsat—The watchman that never sleeps

In western North America, where infestations of mountain pine beetles continue to ravage thousands of acres of forest lands, Landsat satellites bear witness to the onslaught in a way that neither humans nor most other satellites can see.

Mapping water use—Landsat and water resources in the United States

Using Landsat satellite data, scientists with the U.S. Geological Survey have helped to refine a technique called evapotranspiration mapping to measure how much water crops are using across landscapes and through time. These water-use maps are created using a computer model that integrates Landsat and weather data.Crucial to the process is the thermal (infrared) band from Landsat. Using the Landsa

The global Landsat archive: Status, consolidation, and direction

New and previously unimaginable Landsat applications have been fostered by a policy change in 2008 that made analysis-ready Landsat data free and open access. Since 1972, Landsat has been collecting images of the Earth, with the early years of the program constrained by onboard satellite and ground systems, as well as limitations across the range of required computing, networking, and storage capa

Landsat-8: Status and on-orbit performance

Landsat 8 and its two Earth imaging sensors, the Operational Land Imager (OLI) and Thermal Infrared Sensor (TIRS) have been operating on-orbit for 2 ½ years. Landsat 8 has been acquiring substantially more images than initially planned, typically around 700 scenes per day versus a 400 scenes per day requirement, acquiring nearly all land scenes. Both the TIRS and OLI instruments are exceeding thei

Landsat surface reflectance data

Landsat satellite data have been produced, archived, and distributed by the U.S. Geological Survey since 1972. Users rely on these data for historical study of land surface change and require consistent radiometric data processed to the highest science standards. In support of the guidelines established through the Global Climate Observing System, the U.S. Geological Survey has embarked on product