Multi Spectral Scanner (MSS)


blue arrow Instrument Overview

The Multi Spectral Scanner (MSS) instrument was carried aboard the Landsat 1 to 5 missions between 1972 and 2013. Global MSS acquisitions ended in 1999, even though Landsat 4 and 5 were still active.

MSS was built by SBRC (Santa Barbara Research Center) of Hughes Aircraft Company in Goleta, CA.

The objective of MSS was to provide repetitive daytime acquisition of high-resolution, multispectral data of the Earth's surface on a global basis and to demonstrate that remote sensing from space is a feasible and practical approach to efficient management of the Earth's resources.

The Multi Spectral Scanner (MSS) on the Landsat 1 to 5 missions was an opto-mechanical scanning instrument (whiskbroom technique, unidirectional operation) consisting of a double reflector-type telescope, scanning mirror, filters, detectors, and associated electronics. The MSS instrument had a spatial resolution of approximately 79 metres with four bands ranging from the visible blue to the Near Infra-Red (NIR).

MSS Instrument Parameters
Swath Width 185 km
IFOV 68 m
Cross-track Resolution 56 m
Along-track Resolution 79 m

Band 4: Visible green (0.5 to 0.6 µm)

Band 5: Visible red (0.6 to 0.7 µm)

Band 6: Near-Infrared (0.7 to 0.8 µm)

Band 7: Near-Infrared (0.8 to 1.1 µm)

The thermal band 8, 10.4-12.6 µm, was also part of the Landsat 3 MSS, however, the channel failed shortly after launch

blue arrow Data

blue arrow DATA DOWNLOAD

Download data from Landsat 1 to 5 missions through the ESA TPM Online Dissemination system. The data is freely available to registered EO-SSO users.


ESA offers to registered user the access through the Online Dissemination server to the following data collection

  • Landsat MSS ESA archive: Landsat 1 to 5 MSS Level 1 GEO (geometrically corrected, L1G) and GTC (geometrically and terrain corrected, L1T) products acquired by ESA stations

Further information is available on the Products Information page.

blue arrow Processor Releases

Read more about the processor relases for MSS.

blue arrow Cal/Val

The goal of MSS calibration and validation activities was to verify the accuracy and quality of data the instrument acquired.

blue arrow Quality Control Reports

Quality Control is monitoring routinely the status of the spacecraft (payload and platform) and to check if the derived products meet the quality requirements along mission life-time.