Every Pixel - Ground Stations

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Detailed Description

Every pixel of Landsat data is transmitted down to a network of ground stations around the world. Here is an overview of how that happens.


Date Taken:

Length: 00:01:15

Location Taken: Sioux Falls, SD, US


Landsat 8’s data is transmitted
through radio frequency as it

passes overhead to large
satellite dishes below.

The dish tracks the satellite
as it orbits from the north

horizon to the south. During
these passes, L-8 transmits its

data over the x-band frequency
at nearly 400 megabits per

second, while the ground
station records the stream.

Dozens of sites around the
world form the “International

Cooperators” group. The
coordinates of these sites

are uploaded to L-8, which
turns on the transmission as

the satellite passes. The
ground stations then receive

real-time imagery of
their area.

Stations controlled by the
USGS receive both a real-time

feed, and playback from
Landsat’s recorder. These

sites send the download to
the data processing and

archiving system at EROS,
where every scene Landsat

acquires is processed
and stored.

After verifying the data,
Landsat is signaled to clear

captured imagery from its
recorder, allowing an

uninterrupted stream of
earth observations.