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The Operational Land Imager (OLI) and the Thermal Infrared Scanner (TIRS) are the two instruments carried on board Landsat 8 (also known as LDCM - Landsat Data Continuity Mission) satellite.

These two sensors provide seasonal coverage of the global landmass at a spatial resolution of 30 metres (visible, NIR, SWIR), 100 metres (thermal) and 15 metres (panchromatic). The spectral coverage and radiometric performance (accuracy, dynamic range, and precision) are designed to detect and characterise multi-decadal land cover change in concert with historic Landsat data.

The OLI provides two new spectral bands in respect to the Landsat 7 ETM+ instrument, one tailored especially for detecting cirrus clouds and the other for coastal zone observations, and the TIRS collects data for two more narrow spectral bands in the thermal. The nominal schedules expect the collection of at least 400 OLI and TIRS scenes per day where each scene is a digital image covering a 185-by-180 km surface area.

The objective of scheduling and data collection is to provide cloud-free coverage of the global landmass on a seasonal basis. The main objective of ESA's implementation of the Landsat 8 PDGS is the provision of the LDCM data to the European user community within 3 hours after the sensing time.

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Landsat 8 TIRS sensor resumes nominal operations

10 March 2015

The Landsat 8 Thermal Infrared Sensor (TIRS) resumed normal imaging operations on 4 March 2015, and nominal blackbody and deep space calibration data collection on 7 March 2015.

Landsat-8 Thermal Infrared (TIRS) data generation suspended

10 February 2015

On 19 December 2014 at 10:34 am (Central Standard Time, US) the configuration of the TIRS instrument on Landsat 8 was reconfigured due to detection of anomalous current levels associated with the scene select mirror encoder electronics. From this date onwards, the standard Level-1 products contain valid OLI data but the cloud cover assessment scores and the associated attributes in the quality assurance band may be of degraded quality. The TIRS bands consist of invalid data (zero-fill).

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Facts and figures
Operators USGS (US Geographical Survey)
Launch Dates / Status 11 February 2013 - operating nominally in 2015
Orbit Height 705 km
Orbit Type sun-synchronous
Repeat Cycle 16 days
Resolution OLI visible, near-infrared, SWIR and cirrus: 30 metres
TIRS 100 metres
OLI panchromatic: 15 metres
Swath Width 185 km
Onboard Sensors provided under TPM
  • OLI (Operational Land Imager)
  • TIRS (Thermal InfraRed Scanner)


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