Landsat in Action - The Accuracy of Landsat with Jeff Masek

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Detailed Description

Landsat 9 Project Scientist Jeff Masek discusses the ways Landsat data is used and how important it is to have high quality data.


Date Taken:

Length: 00:03:10

Location Taken: Sioux Falls, SD, US

Video Credits

Producer: Steve Young


Jeff Masek, from NASA
Goddard and I'm a 

Landsat 9 Project

NASA in addition to building
and launching Landsat,

we're also a customer of
the data, and so we have

science programs in earth
science like for example

our Land Cover Land Use
Change program makes

extensive use of Landsat
data. So we have these

science programs that
really rely on the mission 

and the archive.

So any time you want to
relate the measurements

to something absolute,
like how much energy

is leaving the ground, or
how bright physically is

that piece of landscape,
so you can identify what's

there. then you need a
really good calibration.

Or if you're trying to relate
the observations to

another sensor. Either
some earlier image that

was acquired in the archive
or some other international

sensor that's up there for
example. In those situations

the calibration is really,
really important.

Especially if you look at
long term trends for example

Something that we're very
interested in, how are

ecosystems changing through
time for example, due to

climate or human activities
and you try to put together

observations from multiple
sensors throughout the

Landsat archive. If they're not
all cross calibrated and well

calibrated then you really
don't know if you're looking

t real changes or just changes
in the instrumentation.

So that can be a real
problem then.

The user community is
really looking for high

temporal resolution data.
What they'd really like is

sort of a daily look at the
entire earth at 30 meter

resolution or something
comparable to that.

And the only way that
we're going to achieve that

in the near term at least
is by s and

harmonizing multiple
international sources

of data. So the US has
the Landsat program,

Europe has the Copernicus,
Sentinel 2 missions

and there are other international
systems that are out there

as well that could be brought
in to this sort of constellation

approach for observing. The
tremendous advantage

for Sentinel and Landsat
together is increased

temporal density. You can
get an observation of anywhere

on the land surface every
2-3 days. And we've never

had a capability like that
before. So if we're looking at

for example agricultural
crops that can change from

day to day and week to
week, if we're looking at

water quality which is
highly dynamic, that kind

of temporal frequency is
going to open up those

application areas

So I think the program today
is probably healthier than it's

been in a long time. We
have Landsat 9 under

development, It's going well.
And then looking into the 

future we have the sustained
land imaging program

and so that's the first time
we've actually considered

how to architect an entire
observing program over

multiple decades instead
of doing one-off purchases

of instruments and satellites
we're actually thinking for the

long term about how do you
create a long term observing

program. So in that sense I
think the program is

quite healthy right now.