Wisconsin Geospatial News

Landsat 8 satellite fully operational

The much-anticipated Landsat Data Continuity Mission (LDCM) entered operational status yesterday, May 30th.  With the change to operational status, LDCM is now officially known as Landsat 8.

Imagery collected by the Landsat 8 sensors is available as a free download from the USGS EarthExplorer site.  At least 400 scenes are collected globally each day, and placed into the USGS archive.  Images become available for download within 12 hours after acquisition.  

Each Landsat scene covers approximately 13,000 square miles. Spatial resolution is 15 meters for the panchromatic band, 30 meters for the visible color, near-infrared, and near-thermal bands, and 100 meters for the two thermal bands.

NASA launched the satellite February 11, 2013. Since then, NASA mission engineers and scientists, with USGS collaboration, have been putting the satellite through its paces — steering it into its orbit, calibrating the detectors, and collecting test images. Now fully mission-certified, the satellite is under USGS operational control.

Source: U.S. Geological Survey