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Landsat 8 thermal infrared sensor scene select mechanism open loop operations

February 9, 2021

The Landsat 8 (L8) spacecraft and its two instruments, the operational land imager (OLI) and thermal infrared sensor (TIRS), have been consistently characterized and calibrated since its launch in February 2013. These performance metrics and calibration updates are determined through the United States Geological Survey (USGS) Landsat image assessment system (IAS), which has been performing this function since its launch. The TIRS on-orbit geometric calibration procedures in-clude TIRS-to-OLI alignment, TIRS sensor chip assembly (SCA) alignment, and TIRS band align-ment. In December 2014, the TIRS instrument experienced an anomalous condition related to the instrument’s ability to accurately measure the location of the scene select mechanism (SSM). The SSM is a rotating mirror that allows the instrument’s field of view to be pointed at the Earth, for normal imaging, or at either deep space or an onboard black body, for radiometric calibration purposes. This anomalous condition in the SSM’s position sensor made it necessary to implement a new mode of operation for this mirror, termed mode-0. Mode-0 involves operating the mirror in an open-loop control state during normal mission operations when acquiring Earth data. Closed-loop mode-4 is needed for directing the mirror towards the radiometric calibration targets and is used approximately once every two weeks to collect radiometric calibration data. Mode-0 is used for most operational imaging because it does not require SSM encoder data, thereby allowing the SSM en-coder electronics to remain unpowered most of the time, reducing its use throughout the lifetime of the TIRS instrument, thus helping to preserve its nominal behavior during it use. This paper dis-cusses the geometric calibration of the SSM mirror during its current normal mode-0 set of image operations, as its open-loop control allows the mirror to drift over time in its uncontrolled state and its impacts on products. The results shown in this paper demonstrate that the ability to have on-going updates to the modeling of the TIRS SSM mirror model, in both an automated fashion and with a set of more manual operations, allows accuracy that approaches mode-4 results within days from the start of a mode-0 event.

Citation Information

Publication Year 2021
Title Landsat 8 thermal infrared sensor scene select mechanism open loop operations
DOI 10.3390/rs13040617
Authors Michael Choate, R. Rengarajan, James C. Storey, Tim Beckmann
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title MDPI Remote Sensing
Index ID 70220098
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) Center

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