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Posts Tagged ‘Landsat 5’

“Change matters” viewer from Esri displays Vegas sprawl

Tuesday, March 13th, 2012

The Change Matters viewer from Esri can show how your area has changed over a given time period, say for instance, from 1988 to 1990. Las Vegas is known for its phenomenal sprawl over the past four decades.  Time-lapseimages from the Landsat earth monitoring satellites reveal in false-color, multispectral imagery how urban sprawl has stretched out from Nevada’s “Sin City” over the past four decades.

This latest video was posted by NASA in honor of the 28th anniversary of Landsat 5’s launch on March 1, but the pictures actually go back to 1972, when the Landsat program began.

ASPRS Board votes unanimously for immediate funding to continue national moderate resolution imaging program

Monday, February 13th, 2012

Recently the American Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing (ASPRS) Board of Directors voted unanimously for  a third resolution calling for immediate support and funding for the continuation of the Nation’s moderate resolution imaging program. Several events have led to the possible discontinuation of the collection of moderate resolution, multispectral remote sensing. One of those events was the  technical failure in the Enhanced Thematic Mapper Plus (ETM+) instrument on-board the Landsat 7 spacecraft in May 2003, and most recently the decline of the Landsat 5 spacecraft.

Although many other remote sensing efforts exist these days, the more than 40 years of uninterrupted Landsat imagery has been instrumental in monitoring ongoing stresses on the Earth from climate change, population, land use and other factors that challenge the natural resources available to mankind. According to the announcement, measuring the Earth’s resources such as food, water, and energy is best done by collecting and implementing moderate resolution imagery.

Landsat 5 satellite on the blink, paves way for Landsat 8 scheduled launch 2013

Sunday, November 27th, 2011

According to a press release issued by NASA and the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) November 18, the Landsat 5 Mission may no longer remain in operation. The reason for this is the USGS has stopped acquiring images from the 27-year-old Landsat 5 Earth observation satellite due to a rapidly degrading electronic component.

A Landsat 5 image of the Wallow Fire acquired on June 15, 2011. Landsat imagery courtesy of NASA Goddard Space Flight Center and U.S. Geological Survey

A Landsat 5 image of the Wallow Fire acquired on June 15, 2011. Landsat imagery courtesy of NASA Goddard Space Flight Center and U.S. Geological Survey

When Landsat 5 was launched in 1984 it was designed to last 3 years. The USGS assumed operation of Landsat 5 in 2001 and managed to rescue the aging satellite back from the brink of total failure on several occasions following the malfunction of key subsystems.

“This anticipated decline of Landsat 5 provides confirmation of the importance of the timely launch of the next Landsat mission and the need for an operational and reliable National Land Imaging System,” stated Anne Castle, Assistant Secretary for Water and Science at the U.S. Department of the Interior. “The USGS is committed to maintaining the unique long term imaging database that the Landsat program provides.”

The amplifier that is in jeopardy is essential for transmitting land-surface images from the Landsat 5 satellite to ground receiving stations in the U.S. and around the world. In the past 10 days, amplifier problems have significantly diminished the satellite’s ability to down load images.

Now USGS engineers have suspended imaging activities for 90 days so that they can explore possible options for restoring satellite-to-ground image transmissions.

The USGS-operated Landsat 7 is actively in orbit collecting global imagery. Launched in 1999 with a 5-year design life, Landsat 7 has experienced an instrument anomaly which reduces the amount of data collected per image. A new satellite, Landsat 8, currently named the Landsat Data Continuity Mission, is now scheduled to be launched in January 2013.

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