Land Remote Sensing Program
Land Remote Sensing Program Highlights Archive Text Size: + | -
NOTE: Information and links in Land Remote Sensing Highlights are current at the time the information is posted.
The William T. Pecora Award is presented annually to individuals or groups that have made outstanding contributions toward understanding the Earth by means of remote sensing. Nominations for the 2015 award must be received by June 15, 2015.
Taking a hard look at the value of Landsat to the U.S. economy was the goal of the Landsat Advisory Group of the National Geospatial Advisory Committee. The team of commercial, state/local government, and non-profit geospatial information experts updated a critical review of the value of Landsat information that was recently released to the public. Their conclusion states the economic value of just one year of Landsat data far exceeds the multi-year total cost of building, launching, and managing the satellites and sensors. The impressive return emphasizes Landsat's role as a crucial national asset comparable to the satellite-based GPS system and National Weather Service satellites. Empowered by free access to the Landsat data archive since 2008, researchers are examining our planet in much greater detail.
The #2 seed in NASA's Tournament Earth 2015 competition took the Landsat 8 image of the colorful faults of Xinjiang, China to the championship. Coinciding with college basketball's "March Madness" tournament, NASA's online voting used the same bracket format to determine a favorite image. The winning image, selected by readers of the web site, was a first for a Landsat image.
The sensors on Landsat 8-the Operational Land Imager (OLI) and the Thermal Infrared Sensor (TIRS)-are a new kind of technology for the Landsat series. These pushbroom scanners are a change from their whiskbroom predecessors. This means their individual characteristics and calibrations can produce differences in data characteristics and quality. A special issue of the journal Remote Sensing aims to provide a good understanding of the radiometric and geometric properties of the Landsat 8 instruments and their data. Two calibration scientists from the USGS EROS Center were guest editors for the issue, in which 18 open access papers cover the design, calibration, and spectral and radiometric characterization of the OLI and TIRS.
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