Earth Resource Satellite Landsat (History and Development) (Especially for GATE-Geospatial 2022)

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  • Landsat is the longest running program for acquiring satellite imageries of the Earth. First satellite in the series, Landsat-1 was launched in July 1972. It was a collaborative effort of NASA and the US department of the Interior. The program was earlier called Earth Resources Technology Satellites (ERTSs) and was later on renamed as Landsat in 1975.
  • The mission consists of 8 satellites launched successively. The recent one in the series Landsat-8, which is also called Landsat Data Continuity Mission (LDCM) was launched in February, 2013.
  • Different types of sensors viz. , Return Beam Vidicom (RBV) , Multispectral Scanner (MSS) , Thematic Mapper, Enhanced Thematic Mapper (ETM) , and Enhanced Thematic Mapper plus (ETM ) have been used in various Landsat missions.
  • Landsat missions use sun-synchronous, near polar orbits at different altitudes for each mission. Landsat satellites typically complete 14 orbits in a day. Landsat 4 and 5 maintained 8 days out of phase, so that when both were operational, 8-dayrepeat coverage could be maintained.
  • MSS used in the Landsat programs employs across line scanning to generate two-dimensional image. Landsat 8 mission is inclusive of two sensors called Operational Land Imager (OLI) and Thermal Infrared Scanner (TIRS) . The OLI is operational in 9 bands including 1 panchromatic band.
  • Landsat satellites have the optimal ground resolution and spectral bands to efficiently track land use and to document land change due to climate change, urbanization, drought, wildfire, biomass changes (carbon assessments) , and a host of other natural and human-caused changes.
MSS Used Landsat Program Employs
Landsat TM Each Wave Band Provides Diff. Informatio …

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