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Fact Sheet 2013–3060

Landsat 8

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The Landsat era that began in 1972 will continue into the future, since the February 2013 launch of the Landsat Data Continuity Mission (renamed Landsat 8 on May 30, 2013). The Landsat 8 satellite provides 16-bit high-quality land-surface data, with instruments advancing future measurement capabilities while ensuring compatibility with historical Landsat data. The Operational Land Imager sensor collects data in the visible, near infrared, and shortwave infrared wavelength regions as well as a panchromatic band. Two new spectral bands have been added: a deep-blue band for coastal water and aerosol studies (band 1), and a band for cirrus cloud detection (band 9). A Quality Assurance band is also included to indicate the presence of terrain shadowing, data artifacts, and clouds. The Thermal Infrared Sensor collects data in two long wavelength thermal infrared bands and has a 3-year design life.

First posted September 4, 2013

For additional information contact:
Director, Earth Resources Observation and Science Center
U.S. Geological Survey
47914 252nd Street
Sioux Falls, SD 57198

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Suggested citation:

U.S. Geological Survey, 2013, Landsat 8: U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet 2013–3060, 4 p.,

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