First images from the LDCM
March 25, 2013 11:57 AM Subscribe
This week, the first images of Earth from the Landsat Data Continuity Mission (LDCM) were released by NASA. The images show the meeting of the Great Plains with the Front Ranges of the Rocky Mountains in Wyoming and Colorado.
The Landsat Data Continuity Mission (LDCM) is NASA’s eighth satellite in the Landsat series and continues the Landsat program’s critical role in monitoring, understanding and managing the resources needed for human sustainment such as food, water and forests.About LDCM's instruments:
The Operational Land Imager (OLI), built by the Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corporation, will measure in the visible, near infrared, and short wave infrared portions of the spectrum. Its images will have 15-meter (49 ft.) panchromatic and 30-meter multi-spectral spatial resolutions along a 185 km (115 miles) wide swath, covering wide areas of the Earth's landscape while providing sufficient resolution to distinguish features like urban centers, farms, forests and other land uses. The entire Earth will fall within view once every 16 days due to LDCM’s near-polar orbit.
The Thermal Infrared Sensor (TIRS) will measure land surface temperature in two thermal bands with a new technology that applies quantum physics to detect heat.
TIRS was added to the satellite mission when it became clear that state water resource managers rely on the highly accurate measurements of Earth's thermal energy obtained by LDCM's predecessors, Landsat 5 and Landsat 7, to track how land and water are being used. With nearly 80 percent of the fresh water in the Western U.S. being used to irrigate crops, TIRS will become an invaluable tool for managing water consumption.
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