Minimize Landsat 8

Landsat 8, formerly known as LDCM (Landsat Data Continuity Mission), was launched on February 11 2013 and is the latest satellite to contribute to the joint USGS and NASA-led Landsat program; the longest continuous Earth imaging program in history.

Landsat's Global Survey Mission is to establish and execute a data acquisition strategy that ensures repetitive acquisition of observations over the Earth's land mass, coastal boundaries, and coral reefs, supporting work in agriculture, geology, forestry, education, mapping, emergency response and disaster relief, as well as providing a long-term record of natural and human-induced changes to the Earth.

With the evolution of the Landsat program, has come an increased emphasis on the scientific utility of the data accompanied by more stringent requirements for instrument and data characterization. Landsat 8 data is released on a Near-Real Time (NRT) basis and integrates the USGS software in the processing framework developed by ESA to ensure continued European coverage.

Landsat 8: Together the Operational Land Imager (OLI) and the Thermal Infra-Red Scanner (TIRS) replace the ETM+ instrument on board Landsat 7 with significant enhancements.

The European Space Agency (ESA) is part of the Landsat International Ground Station (IGS) Network and operates the Kiruna and Matera ground stations within Europe for Landsat 8 (see Spatial Coverage pages for more detail). In parallel with the USGS activities, ESA operate their own processing system / archiving system / receiving stations for Landsat, however the processing software itself is delivered as a Customer Furnished Item (CFI) from the USGS. This combined approach allows users to access an important collection of historical and operational products.


Artist's rendition of Landsat 8 in orbit. Image credits: NASA, OSC