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About Landsat-8

Landsat-8 was launched on 11 February 2013 from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California on an Atlas-V rocket. The satellite is part of the long-running Landsat programme led by USGS and NASA and carries the Operational Land Imager (OLI) and the Thermal Infrared Sensor (TIRS).

Landsat-8 is part of ESA's Third Party Missions Programme, in which ESA has an agreement to distribute data products from the mission.

Landsat-8 Parameters
OperatorsNASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration), USGS (United States Geological Survey)
Launch Dates11 February 2013
Orbit Height705 km
Orbit TypeSun-synchronous near-polar
Orbit Period99 minutes
Repeat Cycle16 days
Equatorial Crossing Time10:00 a.m. +/- 15 minutes
Onboard sensors provided under TPMOperational Land Imager (OLI) and the Thermal Infrared Sensor (TIRS)

Landsat-8 Objectives

Landsat-8 consists of three key mission and science objectives:

  • collect and archive medium resolution multispectral image data affording seasonal coverage of the global land mass
  • ensure that Landsat-8 data are sufficiently consistent with data from the earlier Landsat missions in terms of acquisition geometry, calibration, coverage characteristics, spectral characteristics, output product quality, and data availability
  • ensure products are available to download within three hours

Landsat-8 Instruments

The Operational Land Imager (OLI) provides two new spectral bands in respect to the Landsat-7 ETM+ instrument, one tailored especially for detecting cirrus clouds (band 9, new Near Infra-Red (NIR) band) and the other for coastal zone observations (band 1, new deep blue visible channel). It measures in the visible, NIR, and Shortwave Infra-Red (SWIR) portions of the electromagnetic spectrum and offers 15 metre panchromatic, and 30 metre multi-spectral spatial resolution.
find out more
The Thermal Infrared Sensor (TIRS) was added to the Landsat-8 payload to continue thermal imaging and to support emerging applications such as evapotranspiration rate measurements for water management. TIRS was built by NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, and it has a three-year design life. The 100 m TIRS data is registered to the OLI data to create radiometrically, geometrically, and terrain-corrected 12-bit Landsat-8 data products. find out more

Landsat-8 Data


ESA offers to registered users the access through the Landsat-8 portal to the following data collections:


Landsat-8 Quality Control Reports are available for OLI and TIRS in three different varieties covering quality monitoring, data unavailability any product anomalies.



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